Oracle has unveiled three new offerings in the past week. Oracle's Enterprise Manager 11g was announced last week and is the company's entry into management products. Then on Monday, Oracle launched two new supplier-focused solutions, including a master data management solution called Siperian Hub.
Generally, I write about tools used for integration, but occasionally, I like to write about solutions that integrate features or capabilities in a way that allow IT to move beyond silos. Since EM 11g integrates the management and monitoring of the enterprise stack - including middleware, hardware, and software-into a single platform, it fits into that latter category.
For IT divisions, this means you'll be able to take a holistic approach to the IT stack, as Oracle's senior vice president of product development, Richard Sarwal, pointed out.
But from Oracle's point of view, what's really significant about EM 11g is it's the first fruits of its Sun acquisition. How significant does Oracle see EM 11 g? Well, eWEEK reports that Oracle unveiled it at the Guggenheim Museum and Oracle President Charles Phillips is quoted as saying Oracle is building "an iPod for the enterprise where you have hardware and software working together."
So, it's clearly a new development for Oracle. But it must also be noted that it's a late entry into the IT management space, which is dominated by IBM, HP, CA and BMC, according to an IDG article on EM 11 g.
So, it's like the iPod-if the iPod were a Zune.
I found the IDG piece on PCWorld.com, but you can find on most of the myriad IDG affiliate sites. IDG reporter Chris Kanaracus did a great job of placing the new tool in perspective of the overall market by quoting Redmonk analyst Michael Cote and a written report by IDC analyst Mary Turner.
To be honest, both seemed a bit underwhelmed. Turner did say EM 11g "represents a radical reintegration of functions and tools that have been highly fragmented and distributed for the last 25 years," but she also said the presentation "makes for elegant and compelling slideware, but it is likely to encounter significant grassroots resistance in the marketplace."
And while there is a partner program for EM 11g, with plug-ins already available for HP, IBM and NEC storage products, IDG reports Oracle executives were pretty open about EM 11g working best with other Oracle solutions. That helps explain why Cote told Kanaracus fear of vendor lock-in may discourage some customers from using the tool.
Both the IDG piece and this Information Week article provide a good overview of the new solution's ability to manage applications and business transactions. If you're short on time, ZDNet published a succinct blurb outlining the key features.
There hasn't been as much press given to Oracle's new supplier solutions, but it's interesting to note that one - Supplier Hub-is a master data management solution, adding to the list of MDM products Oracle supports.
You may recall that Rob Karel, a Forrester principal analyst specializing in MDM, questioned Oracle's inactivity during the recent slew of MDM acquisitions. In an e-mail responding to my question about a recent blog post on Oracle's MDM strategy, Karel wrote:
Oracle does have some very good MDM products, but I disagree that they have provided a clear roadmap in relation to their MDM Fusion strategy. ...there are a number of MDM products that Oracle is supporting, and while there are some shared components across-they don't have a single MDM platform yet.
This would seem to continue that trend.
It does leverage Oracle's Fusion Middleware 11g, according to SD Times. One down side to that, at least if you're not a Fusion customer, is that you'll need to purchase a Fusion Middleware 11g license if you want to integrate your own applications with Supplier Hub or the other new supplier solution, Oracle Supplier Lifecycle Management, SD Times reports.
Information Week ran a good overview piece on Oracle's new supplier solutions, but you'd like more detailed information about Supplier Hub or Oracle Supplier Lifecycle Management, check out this post by Jason Busch of Spend Matters.