Oracle Opens OpenWorld with the Charles and Safra Show
October 12, 2009

The first day of Oracle OpenWorld was opened by the ‘ying’ and ‘yang’ of Oracle leadership, Charles Phillips and Safra Catz. Coming onto the stage of technology titans conference is no easy gesture for the gentle but ferocious leaders of Oracle and little different than Larry Ellison and Scott McNeally the previous night (See: "Oracle OpenWorld Sunday Night Opener Highlights Technology Game"). Make no doubt about it that these leaders who herald themselves from investment banking industry who have a strategy and plan to maximize the potential of Oracle’s assets. As referenced by them they have made over $40 billion in more than 58 acquisitions that have work to leverage them across existing customers. What was interesting was the selection of priorities that Oracle brought into the keynote discussion into discussion segments.

The first discussion was a focus on project management which Oracle was highlighting their acquisition of Primavera which can provide some valuable capabilities to manage your technology projects for IT and business. This was led by Joel Koppelman who previously led Primavera and did a great job demonstrating enterprise class project portfolio management Oracle Primavera P6. This new release has integration with the Oracle ERP and E-Business Suite along with middleware technology to help address the need to mind your technology projects to ensure they deliver the value needed. Using portfolio management is quite an interesting lead for Oracle who has a lot of customers that have now a lot of technologies from Oracle and their acquisitions. An interesting fact pointed out is that 25% of World GDP on projects but the use of project management in what is typically called project portfolio management (PPM) is not very pervasively used in organizations today.

The second discussion was about the use of budgeting that IT can use to manage their expenditures to the budget and better manage their IT investments. Though demonstrated as part of the Oracle PeopleSoft applications the use of Hyperion Planning is nice designed for IT financial management which is long needed improvement (See: “Is Your CIO Ready for IT Financial Management”). This is a key message and advertisement for a large IT audience who still struggle in managing TCO (See: “Does TCO Matter Anymore?”) and need to get more sophisticated about understanding how to budget and manage costs to benefits more effectively. Personally, now the CIO can also examine how much of their budget goes to Oracle compared to other providers which is probably a good thing to do.

The next two segments went directly into the industries to demonstrate Oracle industry application efforts. The retail industry has needed help though they have not been more progressive in using applications and analytics to be more intelligent in management of their business processes. Oracle made some clear demonstrations on how to drive better efficiency and profitability to retail management and operations. Oracle demonstrated the latest in advancements with Oracle Retek and Oracle ProfitLogic which both being acquisitions in recent years are major plays into the market. Next was Oracle Trade Management applications to help with campaigns and promotion to improve this significant process. Siebel had historically been very dominant in this application area but had also competed against Demantra which Oracle also acquired. Now with integration of these technologies, organizations using Oracle or Siebel CRM can find better support across the trade management lifecycle from creation to management. Oracle competes heavily with JDA and SAP with all of them not using IRI or Nielsen market data effectively but these providers have come to market with new solutions that compete against the application providers.

The morning was finished up with Oracle longtime partner HP who was the platinum sponsor of Oracle OpenWorld. The keynote by Ann Livermore was an interesting position for HP who has had to dance around Oracle acquiring Sun and is now a direct competitor in hardware and storage technology. Ann spent more time on data center management and virtualization of technology and where their acquisition of EDS for consulting and their outsourcing centers are great places for organizations to consider HP. She did highlight HP NeoView and their BI efforts but that is a place that they have not been successful except for selling servers. It is not clear where HP will go as Oracle expands their portfolio to compete against them and others.

A good morning of discussion and the afternoon will bring new insights on technologies in the middleware efforts of what they call Rich Enterprise Applications and their advancements to Complex Event Processing (CEP) along with Business Intelligence (BI).

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Mark Smith - CEO & EVP Research


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