This author managed to once again navigate among the various spread-out venues and thousands of people attending this year’s Oracle Open World. Making my way home, I accumulated some random nuggets of information which I felt would be of some general interest or perhaps curiosity to our Supply Chain Matters readers.

So in no particular order, here is some information to chew-on:

In his executive keynote, Oracle Co-CEO Mark Hurd shared the following data: For the period 2008-2015, average revenue growth among S&P 500 listed firms averaged less than one percent.  During that same time period, corporate earnings averaged 5 percent annually.  In Hurd’s usual direct style, he declared that those earnings likely came from an overwhelming pattern reflecting reduction in costs. From our Supply Chain Matters lens, is it no wonder that supply chains and IT remain under constant pressure for reducing costs further? Consider also the renewed wave of mega-mergers and acquisitions as another means to chase needed growth while shedding expenses. And, as many of our readers can attest, the most favored target for overall cost savings is the firm’s supply chain.

Mark Hurd further shared his collection of personal predictions regarding the IT industry over the next ten years.  One of these predictions declared that only two technology vendors will dominate 80 percent of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market by 2025.  One was confidently expressed as being Oracle.  The other was left up for the audience to decide.  I’m sure our readers have their own guesses as to the other provider.  What’s your guess AmazonGoogleSales ForceIBMSAP?  Who can say?

General Electric CIO Jim Fowler shared that his organization’s goal is to have 70 percent of all internal applications running in the Cloud by 2020.  GE today has 20 percent of its applications now Cloud based. The company has an internal goal to achieve one billion in productivity savings over the next three years. In a separate Infosys keynote, David Bartlett, CTO of GE’s Aircraft division reminded the audience of GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s declaration about the velocity of business change: “Where once we were a diversified manufacturing and services company, we woke-up as a software and analytics company.” GE will not be alone.

In a press and analyst question and answer session, Oracle President Thomas Kurian indicated that Oracle currently manages 1000 Petabytes of information storage, 34 billion transactions and 30 million simultaneous users per day in its current Cloud landscape.  That transaction volume represents nearly six times the amount of daily credit card transactions across the U.S. The company further operates and manages 19 computing centers across North America, 7 in Europe and 3 in the Asia-Pacific region.  That is obviously a lot of silicon, iron and software code. That sort answers the question- why not outsource IT and let another vendor worry about all the headaches.

In all of the Open Worlds previously attended, we always look forward to Larry Ellison’s talks since they are direct and include many insights, albeit a bit biased.  In this year’s two keynotes, Ellison observed that the IT industry has quickly entered a new era of utility computing, which is as a big a deal as when the personal computer arrived. He further declared that it has taken Oracle nearly a decade to transform all of its applications and infrastructure to a true Cloud based architecture and services model. It was described as a huge engineering effort. Thus far in 2015, Oracle has released 83 different on the Cloud, including the newly announced SCM Cloud suite. According to Ellison, only one other competitor gets Cloud, that being Microsoft. “The rest of the major Cloud vendors are still in discovery. “  You can always count on Ellison to do not disappoint an Open World audience by a challenge to the competition.

And finally, one other nugget: Did you know that Larry Ellison prepares his own PowerPoint slides. Yes, he admitted on-stage that even though his presentations are sometimes criticized for lack of spiffy graphics, it is because he just does not have the inclination.  Since stepping aside as CEO into the newly created role of CTO, Ellison conducts his own on-live, on-stage software demos.  In his second keynote, he moved an entire large database from a private to public Cloud instance with just one-hint from an audience member (right-click!). How many 71 year old billionaires owning an entire Hawaiian island and an America’s Cup sailing team chose to create their own PowerPoints and conduct on-stage software demos? Perhaps not many.

You gotta love the world of tech!

Bob Ferrari