As I head to Brussels this week and await an important phone call, I thought why not talk a little about 3 companies keeping the Cloud arena abuzz with their activities! Workday, Salesforce.com and Oracle. The partnership announcements got me intrigued into writing this post. What did the Oracle – SFDC partnership mean? Why did Marc Benioff bring on a deeper strategic alliance with Workday? In this post I wanted to highlight what these partnerships could mean for the future! I deliberately keep SAP and NetSuite out of this, since another update on HANA is long due, another update on the Cloud ERP makers is due, and I want to give both full justice 🙂
In essence, to sum up the Oracle – SFDC partnership: Oracle hardware and their 12c database is the underlying layer of the Salesforce.com cloud datacenters. Also, Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) and Financials would be used internally by SFDC.
Similarly, a round-up of the SFDC – Workday partnership: SFDC and Workday get tightly integrated with various standarizations and custom apps to use Workday data on the Force.com platform. 2 observations here are around Chatter and the integration of Salesforce with Workday’s HCM, financials and big data analytics software!
So how does this play out? Early days and a number of those “announcements” are still actually coming to market, but we can already see some trends emerging. I read a particularly interesting post on this topic. Highly recommend this read for you too!
Impact on System Integrators – A number of partners and system integrators will need to watch these moves! Deeper integrations from a product level means “deployment” from a traditional sense will be all but gone! These short cycles mean the “deployment” revenue will probably get pocketed by the product companies, or, lower revenues for the system integrators. How will the SI’s change their ways of functioning and continue impacting top-line revenues?
Did Salesforce get the better in the deal with Oracle? On the face of it all, most people look at this as a database agreement between the two. I would like to think there’s certainly more than just 12c at play for Oracle. Oracle is attempting to do something it did in the past – provide the very base/platform for the application, albeit in this case it’s a different ball-game altogether. Oracle is targeting Engineered Systems – Exadata is going to be the answer to multi-tenancy, and so this means Oracle gets SFDC to work on customizations and in-turn understand the “cloud” better 😉 I say this particularly because Larry Ellison, Marc Benioff and Aneel Bhusri have all mentioned of the focus on integration! The more the products are “bundled” – the easier it gets for customers. In this case – the 3 Go-To-Market independently but given an option, they can combine functionality with ease. In this aspect, the biggest winner is Salesforce.com! Workday will rely on Force.com as a platform and Oracle maybe ‘passive’ as an internal DB option, but SFDC just got access to a larger customer base!
The Analytics Puzzle! Analytics lies in among the most exciting trends for the future. Workday is working hard around Big Data in HR and Finance! Oracle has its army of analytics and BI tools. However, this area is getting crowded. Given the rapid changes, Workday will need to produce strong contenders to the likes of Oracle and other players such as SAP, for instance. SFDC is working hard, and with systems like Chatter, analysis based on various parameters need to be accounted for, including analyzing data. It is a bet worth going for – is the SFDC-Workday deal better or the SFDC-Oracle deal?
According to me it’s not one or the other. Salesforce has made smart moves. With the ‘new-kid-on-the-block’ it will continue making disruptions and remain innovative. With the incumbent, it will attract a different set of clientele while keep infrastructural and ‘backend’ costs low. It might even ‘teach’ Oracle a thing or two about the Cloud and learn from them in-turn……
Time to meditate, prepare for 2 meetings at TU Delft tomorrow and review the exciting service projects the YES+ graduates in Netherlands are working on! So long…… I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for all updates from Oracle, Workday and Salesforce.com to understand their strategy better 🙂