SAP offered its own perspective on Oracle’s new Project X application integration strategy for its disparate portfolio of business applications and reacted strongly to suggestions that its own software suite is not standards-based.
Speaking with Computer Business Review earlier this week, Dennis Moore, general manager of emerging solutions at SAP, said that Oracle’s Project X application integration initiative is really an attempt to cover up a flaky Fusion Applications integration strategy that has not materialized even today.
The Fusion Applications messaging has gone dark from Oracle. It’s clear now that it’s taking much longer than first anticipated. Hence Project X really addresses the delays in shipping their Fusion Applications.
We see Project X as an attempt by Oracle to tie-together their Siebel CRM and Oracle E-Business suite, which is highly appropriate of course.
But Moore said that upon closer inspection Project X doesn’t truly integrate Oracle’s disparate applications suite. It simply connects them. Fusion promised one set. Instead Oracle has simply built a bridge between them.
Project X has introduced something that they desperately needed quickly. But it’s trying to bridge two things that aren’t connected naturally.
To drive across that bridge you need to pay a toll, you have fewer choices where you can go. And we all know that’s where the traffic bottlenecks are.
Since Moore claims that SAP has been delivering integrated SOA-based applications services across its ERP business suite and composite xApps for several years, he said that Oracle’s Project X was playing catch-up.
Oracle said that Project X now defines a common set of object definitions that applications can conform to. We find that comment fascinating since all of SAP’s were built with a common set from day one.
Moore also refuted suggestions by Oracle that its applications platform was somehow differentiated in the market because it was standards-based and because the Project X process-integration layer is independent from the application design, and external to the applications themselves. Oracle claims that because Project X integration processes to cut across application solutions, it allows the company to leverage the breadth of its best-of-breed applications suite.
However Moore begged to differ.
Oracle likes to paint Oracle as being standards-based and everyone else as proprietary. That’s pretty rich given that all 28 of their business applications are written in proprietary languages.
Moore said that SAP’s own enterprise application service offerings are all standards-based around SOA. There are around 75 three letter acronyms that our services comply with.
He pointed to over 13,000 customers today using the SAP NetWeaver platform to build standards-based SOA applications.
We wish [Oracle] would stop trying to mischaracterize us as not being standards-based when in fact we’ve built our business applications suite on standards from day one.
We have in excess of 1,000 standard services and integration points to tie into SAP applications suite today.
Moore believes that integration initiatives like Project X are symptomatic of Oracle’s growth by acquisition strategy. Oracle has forked out almost $20bn in buying companies like Siebel and PeopleSoft over the past three years.
Oracle has been distracted buying companies. They have integrated people but have done nothing so far to integrate technologies.
Moore said that strategy also has a profound impact on Oracle’s ability to churn out innovative new products.
If you decide that your strategy is not to innovate yourself but instead to just buy-up innovative companies, then it’s not surprising that it doesn’t lead to new innovation.