Nokia could have learnt from Oracle..

At the 30th March 2011 Oracle Fusion Applications {not Launch} event in London we saw the culmination of 6 years of marketing and millions of dollars of investment. Another  softly softly expansion of the early adopter program was announced. The apps{erp apps that is} are finally making it to market, they look extremely fully featured and have some great UX, and all of the acquired applications what of them? … still for sale, still available .. running on apps unlimited are you listening Stephen Elop?

But back in 2005 when Oracle acquired PeopleSoft the talk was all about replacement and building the future of applications titled fusion. They’d learnt from all of the products that they now had, and in 18 months we expected to see the first versions hitting the streets.  But customers hated it. The standard time frame for ERP as David Duffield of PeopleSoft always used to say is 20 years. So this jeopardized so much. But for those of us who’d followed the ERP package slams leading into the millennium it seemed logical, and we couldn’t imagine Larry saying that his Wife wasn’t the most beautiful.

But Larry stopped, blinked and now we have the most slow, subtle and creeper like development of a new strategy.

The applications were delayed, but the middleware from which they were to be built was called fusion. The unlimited applications and support approaches were offered across all of their product lines, new application sales were made, and if anything the momentum increased.

A new fusion reporting tool was developed and seeded across E Biz apps and PeopleSoft. And year after year at Open World the evangelists were told to keep schtum. Even today we don’t have a launch but Oracle gets to choose who to give it to, through the early adopter program.  So now we have the newest and shiniest application in the garden, but those on PeopleSoft are not feeling shunned, those on Siebel are intrigued, but are not being told that they have to jump, and those on Oracle E Business can continue too. Oracle can now work out where the value is, increase the value (and automate more) in it’s middleware and integration, cast a look across the hundreds of products included in most Enterprise Wide Licenses, and decide how to cut it.

But Nokia have said “we’re jumping ship it’s Windows Phone, and the rest is second best..” …did it have to be this way? How much sabotage of their Symbian sales can they expect now?, can’t they step back and offer something more subtle. Take a similar layered approach, ensure that everyone still feels the love.  It seems arrogant towards their customers to expect them to do anything other than leave like droves. Even if you plan to not support something in future, you could learn from the rest of the software and only announce it the day before. Dalek voice starts up “Windows Phone 7…” ” Only windows phone 7″…

Instead they could have looked at areas where they could build commonality, they could have embraced all of their customers not just thought of the Windows Smartphone … so many lost much capital value down the drain!