Key Product Delays Take a Toll on Oracle Users

Event Summary

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.

The 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.

Market Impact

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.

User Recommendations

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.

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