Prebuilt Integrations: Undermining the Flexibility of IT Departments Everywhere

I saw that Oracle has announced a series of prebuilt integrations linking its Oracle CRM On-Demand products with Siebel CRM solutions via its Application Integration Architecture and Oracle Fusion Middleware.

I have a lot of respect for Oracle and what they’ve accomplished, as I covered them extensively for many years as a journalist, and while it’s great to see that an industry-leading vendor like Oracle is finally getting the hang of where the industry is heading, it’s another shining example of the limitations and lock-in that the proprietary model forces customers into.

By providing the integration, Oracle is taking on the responsibility of executing and maintaining the integration in an effort to help companies build a single view of the customers across departments that leverage both kinds of deployment models. In the process, they’re once again forcing customers to rely completely on the vendor for such integrations and product upgrades and advancements.

As of right now Oracle has built 20 such integrations across a realm of different functionality sets and verticals, but what about those customers in different verticals? Oracle says it has plans to release another 30 pre-built integrations by year’s end, but what about those customers that need to accomplish those integrations now? Since the first days that SugarCRM released its On-Demand offering, customers have been free to build such integrations themselves, as with other open source applications. Announcements such as these undermine exactly the flexibility that companies are looking from their IT departments to allow the technology to support the business processes.