I took 2011 off from researching the enterprise-software market. (Actually I had a big project in the winter that took all my time and then I took the spring and summer off and then I had a hard time getting back into the swing of things because fall golf was great here on Cape Cod this year. But why bore you with all that detail?).
Thankfully, a quick year-end Google tells me I didn't miss anything by taking 2011 off from enterprise-software market research. It looks like:
- 2012 will be the year of cloud computing (just like 2010 was going to be!). Now, this time, we will surely see the end the half-century reign of on-premise software providers such as Oracle (ORCL) and SAP!
- End users like Montclair State University are still spending four or more times the license fee of enterprise software such as from Oracle to install the software "turnkey" (just like in 2010 and for a half century before that). And the end users keep failing. A Hershey kiss anyone? (Speaking of which, where is Leo Whatshisname these days?)
- IBM has a "new" enterprise software acquisition strategy for 2012. Unless Steve Mills buys back Mapics, this sounds like the same old same old to me.(But, really, where is Leo Whatshisname these days?)
- openoffice.org -- the weird word with the dot in the middle, not the actual product -- can't find a home and the Open Source Initiative still can't settle on a license it likes.
- HP (HPQ) can't decide if it wants to be in the enterprise software market. But it will waste a lot of money to find out if there's a market there. In 2011 it was $10 billion on a hodgepodge of decades-old search/BPM technology HP wasted. [But Adobe (ADBE) is bailing out. That makes sense.]
- Microsoft (MSFT) is going all out for its Dynamics ERP line in 2012 according to product analysts. Just like in 2008. And in 2004. It must be a leap-year thing because investment analysts are actually thinking that Microsoft might be shopping around its failed ERP line but can't find a buyer. Maybe Doug Burgum will buy it back? (More likely he's making another fortune in the North Dakota oil fields after shopping SuccessFactors to SAP.)
- In 2012, enterprise software should be like social networking software. In 2010, that was the mantra of salesforce.com (CRM). In 2012, all you have to do is add the word "suck" to this tired message and the press repeats the same old BS.
- Suckers sunk a half billion dollars on this idea for a company that grossed less than $50 million in the first nine months of 2011 and lost just about the same amount, giving new meaning to the "we'll make it up in volume" business model. The usual suspects cashed out as the pension funds, who have to invest prudently, came in.
That last bullet sounds more like 2000 than 2010 but for enterprise software in 2012, the saying is still true:
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
The only year-after-year repeating enterprise software headline that I didn't see:
The headline that gave me the biggest laugh:
"NetSuite (N) is Pushing into Enteprise Software."
-- Dennis Byron