Does the Oracle
-Siebel Deal Hurt Overall IT Agility?"> When I speak of agility (in the IT sense) I mean the ability to continue to innovate at some different levels in the stack (the application layer being the highest) while maintaining the overall stability of the entire system? In other words can I easily change either the application itself or individual components on the lower infrastructure layer of the stack without compromising my availability?
Read more here about Oracles Ellison paying $100 million fine.
I think you have to ask the question, which vendors approach affords my company the best shot at achieving at least some measure of agility" I mean whole computing paradigms have come and gone in less than a decades time. There is no reason to believe that this process of innovation will somehow stop. Is it reasonable to assume that a single vendor such as Oracle or SAP can out innovate individually focused vendors like Siebel had been? At least in individual areas? Do we care or is integration worth it? One must assume that Oracles Fusion approach is likely to encompass an Oracle app layer, middleware layer and database layer and is not likely to be open to other vendor components, at least directly. SAP on the other hand seems interested only in the application and middleware space and not the infrastructure space. Yes, I have seen speculation by some financial analysts that SAP might fire back by buying a database company. A ridiculous notion. For one reason, the only one they could buy is Sybase which doesnt even support R/3. Besides what purpose would it serve for SAP to do that? They already believe the database is a commodity which is why they support an open source database option as a backend. No, my belief is that SAP continues to cultivate partners for the infrastructure layer which might provide at least some greater measure of infrastructure agility than Oracle Fusion. The bottom line is that with this deal Oracle can realistically call itself an application software company. The combined revenue from PeopleSoft and Siebel along with Retek, on paper anyway, puts that part of the business finally on par with the database business. Only time will tell however if Oracles gamble lifts or sinks it as a company. Im sure the sharks are in the water waiting for signs of an open wound. For the sake of many IT organizations, I hope it works out. If not, bon appetite.
If it doesnt, I will tend not to change anything and will lose my ability to innovate. These monolithic software stacks may not enable the change of one component without change to other components or at least significant coordination with other components (most likely). If that is the case, this deal signals a new and perhaps risky future indeed for end user organizations.