On November 19, the officials from the Redwood Shores, California, company conceded
that the two products-the Oracle8i database's iFS (Internet File System) and
the company's Customer Relationship Management suite-have fallen behind schedule
for a second time. iFS was delayed this year because of the need for further
development, Oracle officials said. It is now due by next July, a year behind
schedule. CRM has been pushed back to May, six months behind schedule.
slips, coupled with previously disclosed delays for the Oracle11i enterprise
applications suite and a data movement and warehouse design tool called Warehouse
Builder, have led some customers to consider alternatives.
It is apparent that Oracle's overly ambitious and visionary R&D program is wearing
its new product delivery capabilities thin. We believe that management should
take a deep breath and make every effort to prioritize its short-term new product
release schedule adequately. Yet another CRM product suite delivery delay would
all but annihilate the Company's highly publicized hopes of a success in its
rivalry against CRM market leader Siebel. Furthermore, the Company would significantly
squander its current time-to-market advantage over its ERP competitors, particularly
SAP, in its quest for CRM market share.
Oracle remains the No. 2 ERP player, and its strong resources give it the ability
to overcome current obstacles much sooner than most of its competitors in a
similar situation. However, existing and potential users currently evaluating
Oracle products, particularly its CRM suite of products, will have to decide
between brand loyalty (which means waiting for a firm release date) and considering
already available and fully functional products from other vendors. Users are
also advised to consider both the maturity and the functionality of the product
in their evaluations and make comparisons to competitive offerings.