Mobile becomes a must-have
As the year draws to a close, it's difficult to find an application vendor press release that doesn't mention any options for mobile device delivery, whether via native applications or a cross-platform HTML5 client. SAP executives have even said the company considers "mobile first" in terms of new development.
Oracle's database dominance at risk?
For some time, Oracle has been used to standing at the top of the database market, but could its lead diminish? Some indications say yes, but nothing seems set in stone.
"Oracle's relative position in database innovation is deteriorating," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. "Hadoop and NoSQL have become more established. Microsoft is doing more interesting things. In-memory progress is slow. And the lack of true columnar capability is a real eye-opener."
Meanwhile, SAP is hoping sales of its HANA in-memory database continue to grow. It is also working on new capabilities for HANA that will enable customers using Oracle to run their SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) software to make the switch.
Cloud integration market matures
During 2012, it became more common to hear of companies using not just a couple but many SaaS applications. Appropriately, the market for tools and services that help customers tie SaaS to other on-demand applications, as well as on-premises installations, showed signs of strength.
A robust set of choices for cloud application integration, single sign-on and other capabilities could result in companies running the bulk of their operations with a best-of-breed SaaS suite.
ERP goes social
This was the year when ERP embraced social collaboration software, evidenced by Microsoft's purchase of Yammer, Oracle's multiple social software acquisitions and SAP's recent rollout of its Jam platform, according to Forrester's Martens. "It seems like every ERP vendor has some sort of 'Facebook for the enterprise' story and is now trying to move beyond that in a bid to differentiate its own take on social collaboration," she said via email.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.