I’ve been delinquent in writing a post on my recent travels to Orlando (Oracle HCM User Group) and Las Vegas (SAP Analyst Conference). Bill Kutik, of HR Executive and the HR Technology Conference (not "HR Tech") infamy, does a great job summarizing both events here.
- The discussion around Oracle Fusion has changed dramatically in the past 12 months. One year ago, I would have summarized the enterprise chatter as one of fear. Today, that fear has turned into acceptance. There is a little more clarity on Fusion and companies are starting to plan for it (long-term not short-term). Applications Unlimited has definitely help mask much of the concern.
- Right now, its a mixed bag for PeopleSoft and Oracle HCM customers in terms of actually spending money. A few customers I spoke with in the past few months are in process of an incremental upgrade (ie. Peoplesoft 8.8 to 8.9 upgrade–and an even smaller few to 9.0) and some are beginning to plan for Fusion in the future. Many enterprises are supplementing their immediate needs outside of Peoplesoft/Oracle with niche SaaS solutions and many others aren’t doing anything and simply waiting for further clarity on Fusion. Based on my qualitative research, I don’t anticipate many Oracle/Peoplesoft customers to jump ship, though…I just think Oracle will miss the near-term opportunity in talent management where the real value of HCM resides.
- Both Oracle and SAP recognized they are playing catch-up in talent management. Someone recently asked me which 5 talent management vendors would be standing in 5 years. Two of the names that rolled off of my tongue immediately were SuccessFactors and SAP. SAP has CFO mind-share and this will become increasingly important over the next few years as the importance and business impact of talent management gets materialized (it better!). Why didn’t Oracle roll off the tongue? I just don’t have enough information on Fusion that convinces me although I am in the same boat as many of their customers when they say, "Oracle has too much on the line to screw it up". As I said on the analyst panel at OHUG, Oracle has 3 important things going for them that most of the emerging talent management vendors don’t — time, capital resources and labor resources (I forgot to mention a 4th on the panel…a large, committed install base).
- I love SAP’s approach with Duet. Duet is that opportunity for SAP to touch the other 80-85% of enterprise employees that don’t currently touch SAP applications. Duet, though, has a long way to go. From what I hear, even SAP has struggled to get it deployed internally even though everyone wants it (compatibility with 4.6c seems to be the issue). Additionally, SAP is challenged to address the question of where the actually business logic should reside—in the SAP application, in Microsoft Outlook, or in Duet.
Questions, comments, thoughts? Feel free to email me or comment below.
Now back to the Eggnog.