Monday, January 16, 2006

Easier than quantum mechanics

I laughed out loud when I saw an article today with the headline "Oracle Solution- Easier to Implement than SAP", but that isn't setting the bar real high, is it? SAP may be lots of things: successful, profitable, large, but no one ever accused their software of being simple and easy to implement. What next? "Accountants less creative than Arthur Anderson at Enron" or "now, a car more stylish than a Lada"?

This particular piece of marketing spin is supposedly around an "independent" study done on SAP BW and Oracle Warehouse Builder implementations at various sampled customers. I have to say I suspect that the study might just be paid for by Oracle, though that is not stated, given that this same market research firm also brought you articles such as "Oracle is 46% more productive than DB2". We all await with bated breath further independent research pieces showing that "Oracle solves world hunger" and "Why the world loves Larry".

However, in this case I don't doubt the veracity of the material (much). SAP has become a byword for complexity, with up to 45,000 tables per implementation. Business warehouse is not quite on this scale, but still involves lots of juicy consulting hours and most likely some programming in ASP's own proprietary coding language ABAP, which I am proud to see that I once took a course in (think: a cross between IBM assembler and COBOL). I haven't got direct coding experience with Oracle's tools, but I have to assume that they can't get murkier than this.

High tech marketing has come up with some entertaining headlines and slogans over the years, but "easier than SAP" is definitely my favorite in 2006 so far.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

Hi Andy

Enjoy your blog.

I wonder how much time the customers actually sank into "detailing their IT environment, business intelligence strategy and business processes" for the purposes of the survey.

Obviously it generated enough detail to produce this remarkable insight!

Cheers,
Tim Graham

4:21 PM  
Blogger Andy Hayler said...

Indeed! I do worry sometimes about the accuracy of a lot of the surveys which are reported on. I recall being at a Gartner conference once and there was a quite long and involved survey about company IT spending and budgets, which if you submitted got you a prize draw ticket and some other minor incentive. I recall filling out of these next to another attendee, and commenting to him "I'm not sure I know all the precise budget splits", to which I got the comforting reply: "hey, just make it up like the rest of us are doing; I want to win that prize."

2:18 AM  

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