Our commentary this week comes from the Oracle Industry Analyst World Spring event being held at Oracle’s corporate campus in Redwood Shores California.  This is an event designed to showcase Oracle’s various product and industry marketing strategies with the broader community of technology influencers. In past years, invitations to participate in this event were reserved strictly to the traditional industry analyst firms such as Gartner, IDC and Forrester, for which there is considerable representation, over 80 according to conference organizers.  This year, Oracle elected to expand its outreach and has included more of us who serve as independent analysts and technology influencers.  We therefore begin this commentary by expressing our thanks to Oracle for their outreach and inclusion of Supply Chain Matters in this event.

The main messaging theme for Oracle focuses on engineered systems and applications and the theme was emphasized in many of the presentations delivered.  In fact, we were pleasantly surprised both with the progress that Oracle has made in its various technology elements but also in the current breadth of technology being offered to the market.  In our view, the notion of engineered systems is not just marketing buzz but rather a comprehensive collection of strategies directed at engineering IT hardware, database infrastructure, middleware and software to work together. For readers not completely up to speed with Oracle, the current products spectrum now spans:

  • Applications
  • Middleware
  • Database
  • Operating system
  • Servers
  • Storage

Oracle President Mark Hurd expressed the company’s approach as helping customers to make overall IT simpler to digest and deploy, in essence, take away the complexity burden for customers. An Oracle Exadata development executive expressed this notion as being a “point-of-view” company, one that offers customers a choice of capabilities tailored to a belief in broadly engineered and tuned components of computing, database and software.

Over these past two days we have observed executives that were much more up-to-speed on rapidly shifting needs in simplifying IT response, harnessing more insights from data.  More importantly, there is substance behind the PowerPoints along with a strategic plan that ties all product development efforts toward a concerted group of market strategies. In our view, the traditional Oracle will certainly not shy from commanding a good share of a customer’s wallet, but the value proposition and the technical depth of the solution offerings are far broader and somewhat compelling for the market to ignore.  Oracle’s ongoing initiatives are sure to add more dynamics to the competitive landscape of enterprise technology vendors in the months to come.

All of this should have an important significance in the area of supply chain management support applications and business intelligence needs, where scope and complexity often rule the landscape, and where timely IT response to solving continuous business process needs is critical.

In our subsequent commentaries will be focus more on the various supply chain, business analytics and B2B commerce aspects related to Oracle’s initiatives.

Stay tuned.

Bob Ferrari

©2012 The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and Supply Chain Matters blog.  All rights reserved.

Disclosure: Oracle has no current financial or sponsorship interests in this blog or our consulting services business.