Another project problem, but what about the successful ones?

An article in ZDNet talks about the devils triangle.  This the relationship between the vendor, customer and 3rd party integrator. These stories always make the headlines because it gets read but for every one that appears there are multiple factors of successful ones which only ever get reported by the vendors leading to scepticism of their worth.

 Another place to go to discover success are the user groups – quietly user groups are massive pools of success that the members recognise and very discreetly utilise that success to breed further success. It never ceases to surprise me how many organisations are too proud to accept they can learn from others. User group membership is exceptional value as those who are current members readily recognise.

The discussion of this piece with IBM DB2 and SAP just goes to show that – numerous organisations use DB2 and SAP and yet this organisation had a problem. Personally I have used many terrabyte DB2 databases for SAP with no major issues other than the normal database maintenance activities such as indexing etc. So why didn’t they consult others? The assumption that the 3rd party integrators know all there is to know about the real life operations is often misguided.

So the moral of the story – make sure you belong to a user group and talk with those that have actually got the T-shirt!

New Article on – thoughts on outsourcing

A busy week this week! 2 articles were published in the Financial Times. This second one list a few thoughts on outsourcing.

New article on FT.Com – some thoughts on SAP

Today the Financial Times published an online article which will be published in hard copy very shortly. In it I’m quoted on my usual hobby-horse.

Don’t blame the software – blame the program management or rather lack of good program management.

Where there’s smoke is there any fire?

Following on from my observations that the marketplace is changing comes a string of denials.

Firstly an article in Forbes takes a very reasoned approach 0ver what might drive customers to focus on SAP. Then comes an piece on CNN where IBM deny all approaches to merge with SAP. Hot on the heels of this comes a story where in the Wall Street JournalMicrosoft deny any interest in SAP. But the most curious of all is from Sapphire in Orlando where mycustomer.comrun a story that quotes Leo Apotheker on the subject of market consolidation where he neither denies or acknowledged the speculation.

So what’s happening? Who knows? – but my advice continues… prepared for further consolidation and think what it may mean for your organisation.

What are the implications of Oracle’s latest acquisition – Sun?

Some analysts are now weighing up the possible outcomes of Oracle’s recent acquisition of Sun. Vuk Trifkovic writing in Data Monitor and reproduced here in spells out his views.  In a previous post I commented on how the big four, that is Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and SAP were now split in two groups. Since then two of the players have announced some first quarter results which further add to the views – IBM with a drop in hardware sales, and SAP with a drop in licence sales. No surprise given the economic conditions and neither of those parties could be described as a distressed company!

So what might happen next? The market is consolidating and some players are bigger than others or commanding a wider spread of products and services. Will we see the 4 reduce to 3? Will we see acquisitions, partnerships, or mergers? I think the answer to this is yes.

 As users of products that are now essential to run any organisation we need to be mindful of the potential changes and ensure that we are prepared to manage the fall out of these changes.

Oracle responds to SAP’s change on maintenance ( well sort of….)

Larry Dignanposts an interesting article about Oracle and maintenance fees. In a previous blog I called upon other software vendors to follow SAP’s example and set new standards for maintenance, and Oracle has done…..something. But it’s pretty poor and lack lustre in comparison. Oracle users should take a few tips from SAP users and undertake a healthy debate with their vendor and question truly what they are getting.

Let’s put it in perspective – Oracle users already pay 22% – SAP users won’t until 2015, and then only when SAP deliver true value for the fees.

 So Oracle users will pay more for the next 6 years and get less for their money. Doesn’t seem such a good deal to me!