Friday, August 20, 2010

Is Oracle the Java killer?

Probably not. Java is too strong to be killed.
I posted the following answer to the question:

Will Oracle's lawsuit Against Google Put a Chill on Java Adoption? asked in ebizQ SOA Forum

When Oracle acquired Sun, I thought it was a wrong

decision (read my post: Vendors Survival:The Sun is red - Oracle to buy Sun First Take ).

It seems that Oracle's managers reached a similar 

conclusion and are trying to minimize the amount of

money they lose. The lawsuit against Google is one 

of the ways to achieve it. However, this lawsuit 

supports the concerns about Java after Oracle 

acquired Sun.

The delicate balance of the Java community with two 

strong players (IBM and BEA), Sun as the owner of 

Java and leader of the Java Community Process and 

other strong players (Oracle, SAP, RedHat/Jboss etc.) no longer exists.

Oracle swallowed BEA and Sun and is now the owner 

of Java. Java will not disappear: It is still popular 

language and environment, especially for Software 

products developers, because of its platform 

independence. However, the major Java players will 

probably ask the question: Against which competitor 

Oracle's next lawsuit will be? IBM? SAP? or even 

RedHat due to Linux competition. 

For the Long Term they will look for a strategy less 

dependent on Java and Oracle. It is easy for SAP 

because they are platform agnostic. SAP can easily 

develop SOA ERP Services in other programming 

languages e.g. c#, as part of its applications 

products portfolio. 

It is more difficult for IBM and RedHat whose 

strategy is based on Java. As far as Google is 

concerned, it may also look for Long Term 

alternative for Java. The alternative may be Java 

like, same as C# and more suitable for Cloud 


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why IBM is going to acquire Unica? or Unica's uniqueness

Unlike the other three leading Eco Systems vendors Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, IBM is not a player in the applications market. Its absence from this market is based on strategy which does not include ERP, CRM and other applications as one of its target markets.

In order to answer this question I am going to describe the first time the name Unica was mentioned to me.
It was a strategic CRM consulting project I was participating in. The large customer was using Siebel. I joined a CRM expert with vast knowledge and experience of the customer's  implementation as well as other CRM projects. My role was to analyze the CRM market and its trends focusing on implications relevant to that client. I choose to focus on Siebel and the other three market leaders of that time: SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft and two other unique products which may supplement them (Unica and Kana). Two days before we gave the client our report Oracle announced Siebel acquisition and my role in the project became more important than planned. I had to answer the key question: will Oracle continue to develop Siebel or will another CRM product (Oracle CRM or PeopleSoft CRM) will be the strategic product?
In case of the conclusion that Oracle acquired it only for market share the customer would have considered of replacing it by SAP CRM. 
My First Take analysis provides the right conclusion: Siebel is going to be Oracle's leading CRM product.
As far as Unica is concerned, its uniqueness was in Campaign Management and in unifying the Operational CRM and the Analytical CRM parts of its Campaign Management offering.

As part of my work in the same consulting project, I also learned something new to me about Siebel by reading a Datamation report: Siebel defined itself as a Business Intelligence (BI) vendor in addition to defining itself as a leading CRM vendor. Its BI solutions were not limited to the context of Analytic CRM.

So, why IBM is acquiring Unica?
It is because of the analytic capabilities of Unica products. IBM, and it is not the only one, predicts that extensive usage of more sophisticated and smarter BI and Analytic tools is a must for most enterprises. The BI and Analytic markets are target markets for IBM. It already acquired companies like SPSS (Statistical and Analytical vendor) Cognos (BI market leader). These tools, as well as Unica tools, can be used together with other IBM's infrastructure products such as DB2 database for Operational and Data Warehouse systems, various IBM's BPM and BAM solutions, DataStage ETL product and others.
IBM's challenge is similar to challenges the company faced in other topics such as SOA and Integration: building a comprehensive solution from the acquired and in house developed products. 

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