While attending Tony Perkins’ Media 100 beer-and-burger bash at the Alpine Inn, I was confronted by another opinionist that questioned Oracle’s foray in the Enterprise Collaboration business. Indeed, it has been a long road; Oracle*Mail, Oracle Office, Oracle Library, Oracle Documents, Oracle Workflow, Oracle InterOffice Suite, Oracle InterOffice, Oracle Collaboration Suite is the reincarnation Oracle’s installed base has been hit up with since 1990. As the lead salesman (or should I say Director of Worldwide Marketing), more than 7 years ago for Oracle Office and InterOffice I learned a few important lessons that stuck with me forever.
For one, technology does not sell. Oracle’s collaboration tools were then, and are now some of the best in the business.
Two, deliver a proposition to sales people who match the vendor’s existing business model. Incompatibility of business models is why 800-pound Gorillas can’t buy themselves into new categories.
Three, commission sales people competitively to other proven product offerings. Don’t let your weakest sales people hide behind selling the “impossible”. Again, Oracle’s technology is not the problem, incompatible business models is the real issue. I see a bright future for Oracle’s Collaboration Suite as the software-as-a-service solution for customers who have bought into Salesforce.com’s business model.
Now, Digital Asset Management, often erroneously merged into the Collaboration substrate, is a market category that Oracle needs to own and quickly. “Unstructured” data and corporate media management markets are currently growing at a clip of 45% a year, faster than RDBMS or ERP growth. If Oracle wants to be the database for all corporate data, digital asset management is the real opportunity, not only because it works best with Oracle’s organic business model.
I’ve got suggestions for Chuck (Rozwat and Phillips) of whom to buy to get in quick.