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Monday, November 16, 2009

ZDNet: Oracle consulting layoffs: but what's the number?


I just saw this today, and thought it was very important to talk about. Oracle, the love child for many New York Stock Jockeys, will most likely be doing some big layoffs.

The offical report back from Oracle as of now.: "No comment". But that is to be expected, with the Technology media catching wind of this before Oracle wanted it to leak out.

Now to what's important to understand about this.:
"...I have seen this before in Europe, accompanied by staunch denials or handing off to middle management who couldn’t possibly answer the tough questions. It is standard Oracle procedure."

And The Procedure...
It’s coming up to quarter end, the numbers are probably going to look bad, let’s give Wall Street something to cheer about.

Oracle can’t lie about the numbers but will avoid bumping up against the WARN Act if it can. I suspect the latter’s what’s been calculated here.

Since projects are ongoing and people within those projects are also being RIF’d then I also suspect that at least some of those same consultants will be re-hired as contractors. I saw that in Europe on a number of occasions. There’s no reason to doubt it will not happen in the US, especially if the numbers being RIF’d are high and possibly indiscriminately. The short term effect is that Oracle can legitimately call headcount numbers as lower which will please the financial analysts but will mask what’s really going on.

Customers lose out. Pulling consultants off projects mid-way through is disruptive for all the wrong reasons. If Oracle projects are billed on time and materials, then there’s always the chance that Oracle can get away for a few weeks at least by having people on the job billed out in the usual manner even if they’re really coming up to speed and not being productive. Alternatively, Oracle can offshore the work in the hope that any project delays can be compensated by short term over staffing in cheaper locales while maintaining the outbound contracted billing rate. Customers lose out either through delays for which they pay or substandard work requiring later re-work. Oracle doesn’t need to factor in the additional margin immediately as it can provide against the cost leverage it is able to get from sending work to cheaper locations against possible rework. Whichever method of accounting it adopts, it can afford to be cautious and still come up smiling"

Now lets see the big key words in this statement, and go back and reread the above again.: Customers lose out.

That's the reason why I believe this 110% to be important to understand. Customers loose out. So if your considering Dynamics AX vs. Oracle, it's worth noting this kind of moves. And from the Oracle followers it happens a good bit. Read the details about this. It's important and should impact your decision on one vs. the other.

This is another highlight and shows why the Microsoft Partner Model works great. Here at Sunrise Technologies, Inc. (www.sunriseconsult.com) we are hiring people to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX.

So are you going to fall into one of the Oracle Customer black holes? Don't get pushed into that. Look at the better option, Dynamics AX. It's a better fit, better software, and better model for implementation.

And that's not just from me saying those words. The proof is in the actions, customers and software itself.

Microsoft had layoffs as well last year, some of the first in it's history. Did you hear anything about the ERP implementation consultants getting pulled from an active role, on a project going through for another 6 months? No.

Why? Because of the Partner Model. With Microsoft, you will not end up in a ERP support black hole.

I am sure this will kick up some dust, but for this topic, it very much deserves to be kicked up. Comments? Questions?

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