This article from The Register talks about how the BEA acquisition could lead to very unhappy customers.
They refer to the Thomas Kurian and Charles Phillips webcast (which you can download here if you didn’t hear it), saying that under Applications Unlimited people could continue to use whatever they currently have. The article goes onto say that this wanting to please everyone is a risky strategy and they need to talk to the customers frequently.
If the article was about the PeopleSoft acquisition I could understand it, that was the first major acquisition and nobody really knew what Oracle would do, but with each acquisition the process of engaging with customers and partners has improved. Applications Unlimited is pretty well proven with all the acquired products to date continuing in development.
Communication is pretty good as well, user group leaders are briefed within about 48 hours of an acquisition happening and users of the acquired products are either steered towards the relevant user group who have the existing infrastructure and connections to work effectively with Oracle, or where there is a strong independent user group it is encouraged to join the user group community. I previously blogged about how Essbase and Hyperion were covered by ODTUG and UKOUG where both the user groups and Oracle through their ACE program identified the current trusted users in the Essbase community and gave them the opportunity and information to communicate with the wider community who already trust them.
Just hours after the webcast user group leaders were briefed in confidence on how it will affect Fusion applications and as soon as we can we will share this information with our members.
Where the article does not cover well is the communication with existing Oracle users who may be affected by any future strategy influenced by the BEA and other acquisitions, and we in the IOUC have recommended an acquisitions portal for information. We are independent and if we think there is missing communication we will say so, but to help the users - not simply to knock Oracle.
I think saying Oracle needs to communicate more just 3 days after the webcast is a bit rich. Ask JD Edwards customers who communicated more with them PeopleSoft or Oracle?