Oracle, Microsoft Expand Respective Software Tools for PartnersBy Carolyn April | Print
In separate but related announcements, the software rivals upgraded tools and applications that enable partners working with customers in vertical industries.
For Microsoft and Oracle, the word of the week is Accelerate. That’s the term the software rivals put front and center in separate announcements pertaining to their respective business applications suites.
Oracle held a live virtual event for its partners to introduce an update to the three-year-old Oracle Accelerate program, which is a combination of tools and other resources that help partners speed the deployment time of the enterprise-oriented Oracle eBusiness Suite. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced it has acquired vertical industry software technology from three different ISVs to incorporate into its Dynamics AX applications.
Oracle’s Accelerate program features Oracle Business Accelerators that arm partners with implementation tools, templates and industry-specific process flows that shorten deployment time and lower the cost for mid-sized customers operating under tight budgets and short on dedicated IT staff, according to Mark Keever, group vice president at Oracle.
This week, the company added three Accelerate solutions for business intelligence, enterprise performance management and CRM On-Demand and extended the Business Accelerators tools sets to more of its applications portfolio, including Demantra for advance demand planning, Agile PLM, Siebel CRM and Oracle Transportation Management.
"With the accelerators, the average implementation time and cost can be reduced over time by 60 percent," Keever said, adding that the Oracle applications deployed in mid-size companies sport the same code base as the enterprise versions to facilitate scaling as the customer grows.
In addition to the new Accelerators, Oracle unveiled a portal for midsize customers that features a partner locator tool listing solution providers skilled on Accelerators and different industry verticals, Keever said.
Don Landrum, vice president of sales and business development at CD Group, an Oracle reseller based in Norcross, Ga., said the portal will assist with demand generation.
"The greatest challenge we have is making sure potential customers know our offering," Landrum said. "This new marketplace gives us the first tool to identify solutions for customers."
For its part, Microsoft this week continued its practice of embedding vertical industry-focused capabilities from third-party ISVs into its line of Dynamics business applications. The current crop of acquisitions includes a process manufacturing solution developed by Fullscope, a professional services solution created by Computer Generated Solutions, and a pair of retail solutions picked up from LS Retail EHF and To-Increase Denmark A/S.
Microsoft contends that by embedding this level of vertical capabilities into the Dynamics ERP applications it frees up partners with industry expertise to focus on the "last mile" of innovation when they customize the software. That piece of the work is the most sophisticated and typically garners high margins.