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Monday, December 19, 2005

JDE users want Oracle's Fusion to support IBM technology

A recent survey conducted by Quest, the J.D. Edwards user group, highlights the a strategic problem for Oracle relative to its JDE installed base.

The survey, which polled 300 JDE user companies, indicates that a significant number of them will not take Oracle's Project Fusion upgrade path if that path does not provide support for IBM technologies. The bulk of JDE users--and all of them running JDE's World Software product--are running on IBM's iSeries (formerly AS/400) hardware, and IBM's DB2 database.

According to Computerworld,
Keeping the iSeries as a platform of choice for Fusion was more important than pricing or functionality, Quest said, citing its survey. If support for the server is dropped, 29% of those surveyed wouldn't migrate to the Fusion architecture, while 50% said they weren't sure if they'd upgrade under those conditions. Moreover, 35% of the World customers surveyed said they'd stick with their existing applications. Software could also be a key element -- 85% said they use IBM's DB2 database, and 67% use it exclusively.
The results are not surprising, and it does put Oracle in a difficult position. If it puts iSeries and DB2 support into Project Fusion, it risks not getting the operational efficiencies and simplicity of supporting a single technology stack. It also risks losing the cross-sell of its database and tools. But, as the survey shows, if it does not support IBM technologies, it risks losing a significant number of JDE users for the long run.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest, as I have in the past, that Oracle will and should go with a single technology stack--its own--for Project Fusion. It will continue to provide strong incentives for JDE users to make the migration from IBM technologies. Ultimately, it will then sell off the JDE World product to someone else--maybe SSA, maybe Lawson, maybe even Infor--realizing some value for those customers that refuse to upgrade.

Update, Dec. 23.
Be sure to check the discussion on this post in the Comments.

Related posts
Oracle mulls support for competitor databases
Oracle, IBM, Microsoft battle for technology infrastructure of PeopleSoft customers
IBM is a loser in Oracle/PeopleSoft deal
Oracle to steer new customers away from PeopleSoft products
Oracle: no plan to spin off JDE product lines

by Frank Scavo, 12/19/2005 10:43:00 AM | permalink | e-mail this!

 Reader Comments:

The best thing that could occur for JDE end users (assuming enough installs and support contracts of JDE to make it viable) might be to spin the product off as it's own company or sell to a vendor that doesn't have a competing product.

Oracle is pushing it's Fusion Middlemare software stack components as 'Hot Pluggable', meaning that you can use any or all of it's components in a system together with other vendors that support universal standards. For 'Hot Pluggable' to be creditable, this surely must extend to the database? As a PeopleSoft developer on Oracle databases, I for one am pushing Oracle to keep the business logic out of the database, which improves maintainability and leaves the system database independent. I think that using an Oracle-only stack would be most efficient, but it doesn't fit with the standards-based architecture that Oracle are promoting for interoperability with other applications. Phillip Eaton, UK.
Phillip, excellent points. Keeping business logic out of the database is consistent with open standards and interoperability. As you know, it was also the development philosophy that you all at PSFT had adopted prior to Oracle's takeover.

However, in the end, I wonder if Oracle can really, at the senior level, forget that it is first and formost a database and tools company. I don't know how it can justify not using its application sales to pull through sales of database and tools.

Furthermore, as you point out, there are advantages in terms of simplicity and performance in tightly integrating the application layer with the database layer.

All things considered, I suspect that ultimately Oracle will either limit Project Fusion to the Oracle stack, or else it will give development priority to Oracle technologies such that new sales will nearly all go with a pure Oracle approach.
My guess is that Oracle have quite enough on their plate in trying to merge the functionality differences contained in JDE and PS legacy products - itself a daunting task and probably an industry FIRST if its ever achieved. For Oracle to try to also embrace DB2 AND AS400 based iSeries would seem an impossible dream born out only in platitudes and marketing spin messages intended to retain the customer base long enough to prevent them exiting early to other market products. The ultimate likely sale of the iSeries base and products set to one of the maintenance farmers is the most likely in my view.
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