During a client meeting yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. We have closed one dictionary and opened a new dictionary – this new dictionary, the “cloud” dictionary might be the blurriest and fuzziest we have seen yet and very important to take time to ask questions and understand what is being said and sold to you before you jump into anything. I also want to state that this blog is not to teach you what is right/wrong or what each term a vendor uses means, as many have duplicative meanings, but a warning that you truly must understand what you are buying and more importantly, what the ramifications are in both the short and long-term. Lets start with a few:
On-Demand – this term could mean just about anything and is being used by both vendors as consultancies. Take time to understand how your “on-demand” solution is being delivered and maintained by your vendor. It may or may not matter at the end of the day, but “on-demand” varies from vendor to vendor and just because it is called on-demand, nothing is guaranteed about it being similar to other on-demands in the market.
Hosted - another term that could mean just about anything to anyone and traditionally has nothing to do with what people call true “cloud” or “INFULLBLOOM SaaS”, but another way to have a vendor or partner deal with your updates/upgrades. Once again, nothing wrong with it maybe, but important to understand the scalability and support ramifications.
Cloud - noticing anything in common here, another term that could mean anything to anyone. Public cloud, private cloud, cloud-to-cloud, federated cloud. These terms are used to describe different delivery models that may or may not make sense to your organization. Once again, it is VERY important to ask questions of both the vendor as well as consultancies to understand what is truly being said and delivered.
Fusion - ok, last one. There are Oracle Fusion applications, there is Oracle Fusion middleware, there are Fusion applications that integrate at the process level, there are Fusion applications that integrate at the data level and there are Fusion applications that don’t integrate at all. Once again, a label or “marketecture” doesn’t mean anything until you do the diligence.
Integration - ok, maybe one more. Downloading CSV (comma separated value) files and uploading them into a new system is not integration. It might be interfacing at best. Once again, be sure to ask if you are moving towards true integration or continuing the interface game that is four decades old and still the preferred approach by many HR technology vendors today.
In the last 3 weeks, I have seen organizations make product decisions on “marketecture” vs truly understand the architecture that a vendor delivers and what it means to your organization. There is TRULY nothing wrong with any of these approaches. Some are older than others. Some are dying. Some are not proven, but overall, all can work – just a question of how many miles you plan to drive in a year and how long you plan to keep the car (analogy I have heard many times).
Take time to get beyond the marketing and truly understand what you are getting in to. I have noticed the market is getting “really bad” again using common terms and definitions and I truly believe it is more important than ever to use a consultancy like Appirio/Knowledge Infusion to help sort through a “cloudy” world filled with many sizes, shapes and approaches to cloud; some for you and others you should probably be running from based on your organizations capabilities.
BEWARE THE MARKETECTURE!
Another infusion of knowledge…