SAP Promises Acceleration on a “Clear Path” – Will it Be Enough?

The economic slowdown was not kind to SAP in 2009, and as it launched the annual Influencer Summit on December 8th, change was in the air. Messages were shifting. “Sustainability” got a big push, and there was a ringing commitment to substantial, dramatic product change to be delivered in 2010. Different faces were on display: there was no Leo Apotheker or Bill McDermott on the stage, although Board members Jim Hagemann Snabe and John Schwarz held down the fort with new Marketing EVP Jonathan Becher and CTO Vishal Sikka in key speaking slots. Like the dances I went to in high school, the event was mostly date-free, but direct questions elicited some specific, though uncommitted, statements about deliveries in 2010, especially from Marge Breya. Read more of this post

Rimini Street Slashes Maintenance Costs For Big Apps

Many SAP and Oracle apps customers would rather leave stable products alone than continually change, or “upgrade,” as it is called. For these customers, the cost of maintenance, also known as “buying it all over again every 4 years,” seems excessive. The slow pace of innovation from the mammoth firms, and the even slower uptake of those innovations, amplifies this. (For a recent discussion of this problem, see video highlights from Ray Wang’s keynote speech from the SAP UK and Ireland User Group. I discussed the resounding thud heard from Oracle’s “wait till next year” non-announcement of its Fusion apps here.)

With this backdrop, Rimini Street, one of the pioneering 3rd-party maintenance firms, recently announced stellar Q3 results: revenue up 200% year over year, and sequential quarter-over-quarter growth continuing: it claimed Q3 invoicing doubled the prior calendar quarter. Rimini Street’s value proposition has steadily attracted customers willing to try a different way. The company claims hundreds of customers since inception, all over the size spectrum. The offer is simple: their base price is 50% of the vendor’s maintenance price. Read more of this post

Oracle Touts Cost Savings With New RAC, Storage Features

Oracle has high expectations for its newest release (Oracle Database 11g R2.) “We expect 45-50% adoption of R2 by next year,” said Mark Townsend, Vice President of Product Management, at the database analyst day during Oracle Open World recently. Such a rate would be unprecedented, but Oracle has good reasons for its optimism. Many new features target extending cost-effective use of the systems (server, storage and software) in place, and the financial drumbeat was clear and consistent. Many of these benefits are due to Oracle’s increasing ability to leverage organizations’ architectural tiers: smarter use of  interconnected servers, storage, and memory are driving performance improvements at many levels. Should Oracle’s acquisition of Sun win through, one can expect to see an acceleration of this trend. Read more of this post

Captive Analyst Bloggers: Break Free! You Have Everything To Gain In Your Links

I spend a fair amount of my time checking in on the blogs of people whose work I respect. Now that I am no longer an analyst at a big-brand  firm, I do this more than I used to – and I can now recognize there is an insularity “on the inside” that one becomes unaware of as it creeps up  on us over time. And the big firms want it that way – they have designed their blogs to be private islands, disconnected from the rest of us. Read more of this post