Will Oracle's Beehive Sting Microsoft Where It Hurts?

Oracle’s Beehive, its new collaboration suite, signals a shift in enterprise messaging. As functionality moves toward the back end, Microsoft Exchange becomes an increasing target of CIOs looking to cut costs.
Economics and technology improvements, particularly around virtualization, are bringing more IT functionality generally back to the servers and off of the client PCs. As a result, the client-server relationship between Microsoft Exchange Server and the Outlook client — and all those massive and costly (albeit risky) .pst files on each PC — is being broken.
The new relationship is server to browser, or server to thin-client ICA-fed receiver.
The cost, security Take the FREE Motorola AirDefense WLAN Security Assessment.  Risks, and lack of extension of the data inside of Exchange, and on all those end device hard drives, is a non-sustainable IT millstone. Messaging times, they are a-changin. Sure, some will just keep Exchange and deliver the client as Outlook Web Access, or via terminal services.
Enterprises over the next several years will be undertaking a rethinking of messaging, from a paradigm, cost and feature set perspective. A big, honking expensive client-server approach will give way to something cheaper, more flexible, able to integrate better, more likely to play well in an on-premises cloud, where the data files are not messaging-system specific. Exchange is a Model T in a Thunderbird world.
Oracle, IBM , Google , Yahoo .. they all have their sights set on poaching and chipping away at the massive and vulnerable global Exchange franchise (just like MSFT did to Lotus and GroupWare). And that pulls out yet another tumbler from Microsoft’s enterprise lock-in.
It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Oracle is betting on it.  What is your opinion?


  • Martin Swinney

    I think you missed a very big player in this area, Cisco! They are very aggressive in the UC / collaboration offering.
    The problem with Google & Yahoo is security and reliability. Google recently had a major outage, that can be overcome with time. But I would suspect that organizations might not want to take a risk due to security & vulnerability concerns. Oracle and IBM yeah, they might be an option… years ago in a former life, we used cc:mail and we loved it!

  • Santosh Kumar Balasundaram

    i played around with Collab suite ( beehive version 0 , I guess ). Quite impressive product backed by Oracle Database at backend.
    But the biggest flaw is Oracle’s marketing. Whereas MSFT on other hand markets inferior products brilliantly.
    Beehive has potential to eat into Exchange marketshare , but will it do so ?
    Tieups with Android / Iphone may help. Integration with MSFT’s AD is a must to begin with.

  • Phil Lauro

    I doubt it given MS pretty much is a collaborative framework and 85% of all desktops are MS, so integration of these services is almost seamless.

  • Robert Jakobson

    I think someone will knock MS off the top of the pile. But… it’s not going to be Oracle. They’ve had some great opportunities and it’s almost as if when handed the best materials to succeed they fail to execute.
    In part it’s a general misunderstanding of the customers needs. And it’s not just Oracle – it’s in some ways the entire software industry that just assumes because they have achieved a market success they know what their customers want. It’s really more accurate to say they know what their customers WANTED … and that’s generally in one area of success.
    Google, Oracle, SUN, the list of players goes on and on … and it’s a bit like listening to the Linux community insisting that because they’ve grown in market share in servers that “this is the year they’ll come forward and take the desktop”.
    Ford, GM, and the American auto industry similarly have made this same arrogant mistake over and over – the “If you build it they will come…” theory. That because you’ve a big name and you’ve created this awesome technological wonder … everyone is going to flock to it because you’ve got your people who tell you that it’s awesome.
    More time needs to be spent learning what customers actually need – and not assuming that we know what they need. There’s a lot of effort that goes into studies, but I’ll be honest I’ve worked for – and I’ve worked with a lot of these big names. They buy their research – they don’t DO their research.
    Lesson one… never assume anything. Dig deep, send people into the field and make them work the jobs of the people they’re trying to build these products for. Until they do, it’s all good theory and they’ll keep making less than sucessful product.
    Be it Oracle – or Microsoft – or Lotus – they need to get into contact with their users on a very very real level. Or they’ll never come up with the next true “killer” advance.

  • Salik Rafiq

    Too little too late.

  • Byron Lee

    I doubt Oracle will succeed in causing much damage for 2 reasons:
    1) Microsoft has plenty of time to respond if companies start jumping the Exchange ship. Companies would have to feel a lot of pain or realize a lot of gain to make the migration to something new.
    2) But more importantly, Oracle believes that any product they produce has to have an Oracle database as the backend whether it’s an ideal solution or not. If they’d start with the premise of making an excellent product regardless of underlying technology, they’d have a much better chance of taking market share outside the database area. Oracle’s goal is to sell more database licenses. ERP business aside, that keeps them at heart, a database software company. A very successful one, but still a database software company.

  • Bob Garrett

    Larry is too busy on his dingy
    The Big O will not make a dent

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