December 11, 2012, 9:22 AM — It's been a busy and transformative year for enterprise software. We dug through our story archives, talked to industry experts and put on our thinking caps to come up with this list of key events and emerging trends from 2012, all of which are set to have a lasting impact on the industry.
Ellison unveiled a wide array of new and planned cloud products under the Oracle banner, from Fusion Applications to the Oracle Social Network to a PaaS (platform as a service) offering.
The CEO even declared that Oracle would deliver "the most comprehensive cloud on the planet Earth."
"It'll be interesting to see how Oracle crafts its cloud strategy," said Forrester Research analyst China Martens. Veteran ERP vendors like Oracle face "an interesting balancing act" in comparing their legacy on-premises software to new cloud alternatives, she added.
SAP admits need for 'cloud DNA': Like Oracle, SAP had a serious change of heart about the cloud in 2012.
SAP's US$3.4 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors, which closed this year, was an acknowledgment that its own cloud development efforts weren't enough, said analyst Frank Scavo, president of consulting firm Strativa. This was even after SAP had already spent hundred of millions of dollars to develop its own Business ByDesign cloud suite and began rolling out a number of line-of-business cloud applications, he added. SAP later followed up the SuccessFactors deal with another expensive buy,scooping up Ariba for $4.3 billion.
SaaS moves into the back office: Workday has seemed to surpass Salesforce.com as the 'it' cloud software vendor of late, Salesforce.com's continued rapid growth notwithstanding. This is due to Workday's success in landing major enterprise accounts for its HCM (human capital management) software, with some deals constituting hundreds of thousands of seats. It also may be a sign of anticipation that Workday will achieve similar success with its financials software over time.