Best of Spend Matters: Oracle

- December 28, 2011 7:12 AM
Categories: Best Of, Commentary | Tags:

Oracle OpenWorld Dispatch 1: Overload, Openness, Fragmentation, Glimpses of Some Solid Applications — I spent two completely scheduled days at Oracle OpenWorld this week (apologies to everyone else I know in the area who I did not have a chance to visit, but I can’t recall packing so many things into 48 hours before). Even though I’ll be sorting through my notes and sharing the highlights around Oracle Fusion Procurement, Oracle Supplier Lifecycle Management/Supplier Hub, Oracle Spend Classification, Oracle PeopleSoft’s new faceted SRM navigation and more, I thought I’d first sum up some general procurement-focused impressions from the show.

Oracle’s Endeca Acquisition — An Initial Take — Earlier this week, Oracle announced it had entered into an agreement to buy Endeca. For those in the procurement, supply chain and manufacturing worlds who don’t know Endeca, you should. They represent what Spend Matters believes is a truly next generation toolset for managing not only general ledger, invoice and related spend data, but more important, combining these financials insights with material information, part specification data, warranty claims insight and many forms of third-party structured (and even unstructured) data. Yet because they’ve been going in so many directions (e.g., fueling lots of consumer sites from a search/faceted/guided navigation/shopping perspective), the manufacturing vertical as well as the emphasis on selling into procurement and supply chain was only given limited focus at Endeca. Here at Spend Matters, we hope Oracle changes this.

Procurement Acquisition Alert: What is Oracle Getting From Endeca? (Part 1) — Oracle’s acquisition of Endeca has the potential to go down as one of the best enterprise analytics/applications/search deals in history. Because Endeca’s Latitude solutions are such a complement to Oracle’s entire line of application businesses — e.g., Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion Applications, PeopleSoft Enterprise and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne — not to mention Oracle’s broader development, middleware and even hardware capabilities, the deal has the potential to truly create the proverbial M&A 1+1 = 3 (or even 7) scenario. Yet we all know how big (and small) vendors often botch acquisition integration, especially when the value proposition requires a degree of deeper analytical thought, especially when positioning it to customers. Still, when it comes to procurement and supply chain, perhaps the best thing about Endeca Latitude for Oracle is that the application set can stand alone — and alongside — Oracle’s other capabilities. (Part 2 and (Part 3)

Giving Oracle a Procurement Break — Transparency & Dialogue With No Puppet Strings — A number of my colleagues in the Enterprise Irregulars (some of the best minds in enterprise software who have come together to form an informal and loosely affiliated groups of bloggers, thinkers, enterprise tinkerers, etc.) have given Oracle a hard time (not to mention other enterprise software companies and big services firms like SAP, IBM and Accenture) about their products, pricing and related policies — not to mention their approaches to customer and commercial engagement. Others have as well, including a Gartner analyst (hat-tip: EIs) who recently (and uncharacteristically, for Gartner) spoke what was on his mind about Oracle and others, at least as reported by one publication. Yet I think when it comes to procurement, we at Spend Matters believe that we all should be optimistic about where Oracle is headed and how they’re following a path less traveled.

- Brianna Tonner

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