While yesterday's companies clamored for massive application suites to integrate the enterprise, today's companies clearly want all that and more, judging by voters' responses to products nominated in the enterprise application category.
Voters overwhelmingly gave the nod to the Oracle E-Business Suite 11i. This integrated e-business application suite from Oracle Corp., of Redwood Shores, Calif., includes not only traditional financials, human resources, manufacturing, procurement, and supply chain modules, but customer relationship management (CRM) and order management applications as well. The product garnered 37 percent, or 76 votes. The first Oracle's application suite that is completely Internet-enabled, 11i allows companies to integrate everything from order processing and supply chain management to call centers and self-service applications via the Web.
|Voters had a choice of the following nominees:|
That an ERP application won the category comes as no surprise to Daniel Sholler, senior program director for the Application Delivery Strategy Service at META Group Inc., Stamford, Conn.
"This was the year we saw the broad adoption of true Web-architected ERP systems. Web-based technology is the prerequisite for ERP getting beyond that 15 percent of the company is typically touches," says Sholler.
HostCentric Inc., a Houston-based company formed by the merger of five Web hosting companies last May, chose the Oracle 11i suite instead of buying point solutions to address the company's complex requirements. The company needed to consolidate legacy systems that store information on its 20,000 customers.
"We had to decide whether to use about six point products and write the integration ourselves or bank on Oracle taking care of everything," says HostCentric CIO Doug Allen. "When it came down to it, we chose to 11i to cover everything, because we didn't want to rely on us being able to get all of the integration right."
What really tipped the scale in Oracle's favor, Allen says, was its Web-based orientation. "We're an Internet-based company, so we needed Internet-based applications," he says.
PeopleSoft 8 CRM, from PeopleSoft Corp., of Pleasanton, Calif., finished in second place, with more than 22 percent of the votes, or 46 votes, while another CRM suite, Siebel eBusiness Applications 2000, from Siebel Systems Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., finished a close third, with 17 percent, or 36 votes.
Both are new versions that move the products toward e-business and away from pure CRM, says Liz Shahnam, vice president of CRM Infusion at META Group. A prime example of that change, she says, is the inclusion of shopping carts, personalization engines, and other real-time marketing capabilities in both products.