There is no such thing as a DXP

  • 5-Oct-2017

I mostly like the work that Forrester does, even if they suffer from the same conflicts that all major analyst firms exhibit. But their recent "Digital Experience Platform Wave" — declaring Oracle the sole leader in this space — was a disservice to enterprise digital leaders.

Here's a visual of the wave (with my commentary), courtesy of Liferay.  You can read a good summary over at CMSWire.

Forrester DXP Wave

Oracle?

The elevation of Oracle to sole leader raised many eyebrows among digital leaders. A friend who implements several of these tools wrote me: "WTF?? I'm glad I'm not insane -- when forwarded this I was swearing out loud in the office."

If I'm reading the Forrester analysis correctly, Oracle won this placement because:

  1. It's a big vendor with lots of customers and channel partners
  2. Oracle sells a lot of different types of software
  3. They can roll many of their tools out on their own cloud

(I might also add, 4. Oracle is very aggressive at analyst relations.)

Now, if you look at this from a customer's perspective rather than a vendor's point of view, all three of those attributes typically come up as negatives.

  1. Oracle, like IBM, is a behemoth vendor with dozens of acquired tools of varying provenance and it can be very difficult for customers to navigate or integrate them in a cost-effective way. 
  2. The fact that Oracle sells some commerce software but Adobe doesn't is meaningless in a world where enterprises need to be agile in the tools they deploy.
  3. Oracle wants to put you in their cloud because for some time their main business model has centered on customer lock-in rather than innovation and value.  "Wrap and roll" their salespeople call it, after extorting you and perhaps redistributing some of their commission at the nearest strip club.

DXP Is a Myth

RSG evaluates specific Oracle offerings across nearly all our evaluation research streams, and yes, some of the vendor's tools are good at certain things.  So the core issue really isn't Oracle's placement on the chart.

The deeper problem here is that there is no such thing as a "Digital Experience Platform" that combines content, data, analytics, commerce, integration, UX, personalization, outbound marketing, customer service, PaaS hosting, and so on.  I'm no fan of Adobe, but the fact that they haven't acquired an ecommerce vendor is a plus in my book; it's one less distraction for an otherwise rather discombobulated vendor.

I don't know any enterprise customer that wants — or believes it remotely possible — to obtain all those services from a single vendor. No, this is a vendor fantasy, getting peddled by analyst shills.

Note that this game has played out before, when analysts pushed the vendor dream of über ECM suites during the last decade.  Enterprise customers who played that game mostly lost.  Don't make the same mistake again.

 

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