DoJs wrong on innovation

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-03-01 Print this article Print

The DoJ also has some debatable opinions about the nature of innovation in this market. In contrast to the DoJs assertions about Oracle and PeopleSoft egging each other on to innovate, the ERP market is now actually flat and stagnant. Whatever innovation is going on isnt serving to win new customers. Rather, revenues are coming mostly from maintenance. Thats because most businesses likely to buy back-room applications have already done so. The game now comes down to having the most customers to sell bolt-on, incremental applications to, such as supply chain, CRM, portal, data warehousing applications and the like. Dominys of the opinion that the next battleground for IT will be beyond the edge of the enterprise, as companies figure out how to connect, synchronize and coordinate their operations with an extended supply chain. He points to SAPs strategy around NetWeaver—SAPs answer to infrastructure, application and business process integration—as evidence that the action is in the infrastructure layer, focusing on integration—not just application to application, but into the database. "They know the future is delivering composite applications or integrated Web applications, which are these specialty applications that deal with business processes that cross enterprise boundaries and work with external business partners," he said. As such, the way companies will gain revenue in the future is by having a customer base and selling such composite applications to those customers.
After all, at this point, after such a long period of famine in IT budgets, pretty much all billion-dollar+ companies have already squeezed internal costs out. Their real opportunities lie in improving the extended supply chain and how information and goods flow through the networks of their business partners. This is why the market no longer depends on how the sale of HR applications goes. The market for enterprise applications is mature, and the real opportunity for growth lies in expanding the footprint of where those enterprise applications extend.
At any rate, thats one view of the marketplace that contrasts to the DoJs take. Its a view of the marketplace that Oracle is likely pushing in its fight against the DoJ lawsuit. PeopleSoft is assuredly pushing its complete opposite. Both companies are finding experts to back them up, and, obviously, in the end, it will all boil down to which view of the market is more coherently articulated. Whats your take on what comprises the market, both as it currently stands and the direction in which its evolving? Write me at Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas has written about enterprise applications since 1997. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at for more database news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our database news feed to your RSS newsreader:

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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