What the company must do to keep customers interested in migration--the IBM iSeries system is the main attraction.
Posted Dec 14, 2005
Oracle's Project Fusion plans must include the IBM iSeries system to attract J.D. Edwards users, according to a survey released today by Quest International Users Group, which represents more than 25,000 users. When asked whether they would consider migrating to Fusion if it is on the iSeries, 77.2 percent said yes, 6.1 percent said no, and 16.7 percent were unsure. On the other hand, roughly half of respondents (51 percent) said they were not sure whether they would consider migrating to Fusion if it is not on the iSeries, with 28.9 percent saying they wouldn't, and 20.1 percent saying they would.
J.D. Edwards users are known for their loyalty to IBM's products due to the high compatibility level between their ERP software and the hardware it uses, according to Quest. "The survey validates that customers love their IBM solution and are hopeful that Oracle will work with IBM to see if the iSeries can play a role in the Fusion solution," says John Matelski, president of Quest International User Group and CSO and deputy CIO for the city of Orlando.
What would these companies do if Fusion does not run on the iSeries? Answers were divided: 37.3 percent would evaluate other software vendors; 19.4 percent would keep their current investment and not pay Oracle maintenance; 19 percent would keep their current investment and pay Oracle maintenance; 11.6 percent would switch platforms and databases to migrate to Fusion; and 47.3 percent would consider all of those options.
Overall, respondents were divided about whether they would consider Project Fusion in the next five years, with 31.6 percent saying yes, 27.9 percent no, and 40.5 percent undecided. Looking 10 years down the road, 60.9 percent of respondents expect to consider it, 4.4 percent don't, and 34.7 percent are unsure. Ranked in order of descending influence, the factors companies would consider when deciding whether to implement Fusion are: increased functionality (23.6); ease of migration (21.3); platform (20.6); price (20.3); and vendor support (14.1).
"[The survey] verifies that consideration of migrating to Fusion is in the respondents' longterm plans, that hardware and database are critical factors when considering migration, [and] while respondents indicate they will consider migrating, they will not make decisions until they know more," the report states. Quest intends to use these results to educate Oracle about consumers' needs. In turn, "Our hope is that Oracle uses these results to expand a dialogue about Fusion and educate users about their plans," Matelski says.
William Band, consulting analyst with Forrester Research, believes Oracle will listen to their needs. "Enterprises do not make their application decisions lightly. I think Oracle will attend to J.D. Edwards customers carefully, as well as to the incoming Siebel customers," he says. "This example is a good way to proceed to collect and present its point of view to Oracle."
Of course, listening to the customer can be self-serving as well. "It is in Oracle's longterm interest to sustain the customer base of all the acquired companies that it has brought into the fold," Band says. "The longterm maintenance revenues from these customers are a major reason that Oracle did these deals."
Matelski says Quest is happy with Oracle's receptiveness to customer input and its emphasis on receiving feedback from user groups. "Oracle has gone to great lengths to establish positive relationships with their user group community and is relying on that community to provide data points to them that will assist them as they develop the best product for the future. Whereas PeopleSoft tended to be very controlling and preferred to not deal with independent user groups, Oracle's model of support is focused on creating feedback mechanisms to receive customer inputs, and to allow independent users to have a voice."
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