Monday Mar 31, 2014

“The (R)Evolution in IT Buyer Behavior”


by Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize

To understand how IT buyer behavior is changing, we need to remember where we’ve been. Put yourself in a time machine and imagine life in 1999--not that different to life in 1963 and the office of Don Draper in Mad Men. Men still wore suits to the office every day; women wore dresses. Except I don't think Don had casual Fridays. 

BTW- the image above is inspired by, "Mod Men : The World of Mad Men Through a 21st-Century Lens", by Doug Levy, Staff copywriter and editor for the Shutterstock blog.

Just like Don's office demeanor would not be appropriate today...IT managers shouldn't be making software selection decisions like they did in 1999. Back then, everyone was worrying about Y2K like it was the resurgence of the Black Death.

Back in the last century, Don Draper might have thought it was OK to knock back three martinis at lunch. And sometimes IT managers thought it acceptable behavior to spend a hundred grand and six months picking a software solution. 

Back then, here’s how the IT buying process proceeded:

  1. Appoint a Selection Manager
  2. Gather Requirements
  3. Write An RFP (Requirements Document)
  4. Circulate the RFP
  5. Review Responses
  6. Build a Short List
  7. Vendor presentations
  8. Negotiate
  9. Purchase

The trouble with this software selection process: takes too long, costs too much , and may produce inconsistent results.

IT buyers today have so many more resources at their command--social networks, online peer groups, software review websites, and-most important of all-years of experience. Yet everyone I speak with tells me that RFPs are getting bigger, harder to produce, and harder for vendors to respond to.  Shouldn't the process be easier?

Next up...Enterprise Software Review Sites - What Role Will They Play?”

Next week, ll be sharing what I learned from conversations with the founders of three of the most popular and innovative software review and advice web sites:



Jim Lein

I evangelize Oracle's enterprise solutions for growing midsize companies. I recently celebrated 15 years with Oracle, having joined JD Edwards in 1999. I'm based in Evergreen, Colorado and love relating stories about creativity and innovation whether they be about software, live music, or the mountains. The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Sep 18, 2013

If You’re Going to San Francisco…


By Jim Lein, Senior Principal Product Marketing Director-Midsize

San Francisco is my favorite city in the world... And, as a musician and music lover, I get goose bumps every time I play this song on YouTube. Scott McKenzie recorded and released it in 1967 to promote the legendary Monterey Pop Festival. His soulful performance spurred a mass migration to The Bay Area of Hippies seeking enlightenment.

 Next week, at Oracle OpenWorld, all those Hippies will have to scoot over and make room for thousands of inquisitive professionals descending upon The City by the Bay. They seek not musical or spiritual enlightenment but, rather, more knowledge about Oracle’s solutions. About two thirds of those seekers will be part of Oracle’s Midsize community.


We’ve dialed in the agenda for Oracle’s Midsize customers, prospects, and partners…

Over the years we’ve learned what Oracle’s Midsize community wants to see and hear at Oracle OpenWorld. Here are our three top recommendations:

#1Best Session For EVERYONE: Grow With Oracle: Strategies From Oracle Customers Using IT To Support Growth”

    Hosted by Steve Cox, Vice President, Oracle Midsize Programs, this session features executives from three midsize companies who each share their experiences in rapidly deploying Oracle enterprise applications and complementary solutions.

 Details, details, details…

#2 Best Session for Learning About RAPID TIME TO VALUE: Oracle Business Accelerators: Changing the Game—Rapid Implementations Since 1997”

This session is a deep dive and demonstration of Oracle Business Accelerators— powerful, cloud-based rapid implementation tools developed and maintained by Oracle to get you up and running on a wide range of Oracle Applications, both quickly and reliably.

Details, details, details…

  • Session ID: CON8067
  • Speaker: Steve Cox, VP, Oracle Midsize Programs
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, September 25, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
  • Location: Moscone West, Room 3003


#3 Best session for PARTNERS: “The Oracle Accelerate Partner CEO Panel: Winning New Customers  & Generating Better Margins In A Challenging Implementation Market”

This partner-only panel discussion will feature the insight, advice, and perspective from executives of three of Oracle’s top partners delivering Oracle solutions to midsize companies today.

 Details, details, details…


As always... you can see an interactive demonstration of Oracle Business Accelerators in the Oracle DemoGrounds, Moscone West (Station ID: W-127). And, visit our Oracle OpenWorld 2013 - Oracle Midsize Programs website for more details on sessions and events of interest to everyone in the Oracle Midsize community.

Don’t forget about... the Customer Appreciation Night on Wednesday. Don’t expect to hear much Hippie music but this year’s headlinersMaroon 5 and The Black Keys—have won a combined nine Grammy awards.

And if you’re feeling nostalgic, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

Natus Medical Soothes Growing Pains by Teaming with Oracle Partner NTT DATA

By Jim Lein, Programs Management Sr. Principal, Oracle Midsize Programs.

We published a partner spotlight today on the Oracle Accelerate for Midsize Companies resources page about how Natus Medical deployed Oracle E-Business Suite using Oracle Business Accelerators.

For this spotlight, I interviewed Jayanta Samanta , VP of Enterprise Services at NTT DATA, and Bharat Poria, VP of Information Technology at Natus Medical. NTT DATA exemplifies what it's like to be an Oracle Accelerate Partner, and Oracle Accelerate Solution Provider, and an expert in using Oracle Business Accelerators. The partner helped Natus Medical deploy a very broad footprint of Oracle applications in just ten months. Natus Medical leveraged Oracle Business Accelerators to also adopt industry best practices across their entire growing organization. I also interviewed Bharat for my blog series on The Growing IT Labor Shortage.



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