There are several significant newsworthy items about the announcement that Oracle will use the Google Maps API in Release 12 of the Oracle Field Service solutions.
- Oracle customers have been asking for the integration of Google Maps with Oracle apps but according to my sources at Oracle, Google wouldn’t do business with them previously. However, I don’t think this is a cozy relationship as the quote by Noah Doyle from Google seems a little distant. Still, it’s about time this happened; it should have taken place a long time ago and I said as much back in 2005.
- The app in question is a field services management application (FSM); i.e. the low hanging fruit of any GIS integration with an enterprise IT solution in terms of an easy ROI. A logistics and routing app is ripe for geospatial technology and actually Oracle is a little late to the game on this one. Existing customers should reap much in terms of cost savings.
- InfoWorld is reporting that Oracle is planning the same level of integration with the Siebel Field Service app. This is also a little backwards to me as Siebel had started down the path with both ClickSoftware and MapInfo several years ago in using location technology to enable FSM apps. Maybe this is just the fate of having been acquired and allowing Oracle’s homegrown software take precedence. But why have two apps that do basically the same thing? I’m assuming that they have customers with both apps installed. I would hope that Oracle will be forthcoming in a more detailed briefing on the situation.
- This is a big deal. As Oracle rolls out more CRM and business intelligence applications, using either their own Oracle Maps or the Google API, its puts pressure on other BI players that offer similar solutions and GIS providers that are offering routing and logistics applications. Now you have arguably the best database married to a preferred mapping interface. This is "the" mashup that could be the tipping point in a rush to serve location intelligent solutions within corporations. The second coming of business geographics may be just around the corner.