Supply Chain Matters is wrapping up our attendance at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld , not necessarily our overall impressions.  We will provide our summary impressions posting early next week after assimilating all of the information we have gathered.

Readers can view our previous event postings by clicking below:

Commentary One

Commentary Two

Commentary Three


As we prepare for a flight back to the office, we will share a few additional impressions garnered over these past days.

  • In his keynote, President Mark Hurd boasted that Oracle continues to invest $5 billion in product development and research.  That is a significant sum for an enterprise software and technology company, especially in the current era of financial engineering of corporate balance sheets.  In the case of Oracle, the company affirms that this development removes the burden of customers to engineer their solution needs.  Many of the blizzard of products announcements made at this year’s conference were most likely a result of that investment.  The question is do customers really care?   After listening in on a large panel of select Oracle customers, it appears clear that customers do care and now demand that technology vendors do the heavy lifting for integration and seamlessness of implementation.  That should be a message to other technology vendors as well.
  • Continuing on that theme, we continue to be impressed at how mature technology and software customers have become.  While vendors can continue with glossy PowerPoints announcing the next big solution for business processes, customers are now inclined toward show me the evidence and let me talk with those who have implemented the solution.  That is good news for all, tech and industry alike.
  • Make no mistake that Oracle’s strategy is focused on being the big tech disruptor. What was announced this week will motivate further tech industry developments, although Oracle refuses to publically declare pricing of these new products. There were some potentially profound database and underlying infrastructure product announcements made at this year’s OpenWorld, which should manifest themselves in supply chain, B2B, procurement, online fulfillment and predictive analytics capabilities in the weeks and months to come.  That will be goodness.
  • The trash talking between Oracle and SAP on who has the best database and information analysis platform once again broke out after just a day of OpenWorld.  What we are clearly hearing from customers, particular business and functional in role is they do not give a damn who’s platform is better.  They have business challenges to solve most very day and where technology can overcome that challenge in speed, cost , agility and cost of ownership, than that is where they will invest.
  • We continue to applaud Oracle’s efforts to offer influencers full access to customers, either in panels or customer sessions.  Not all software vendors are that open.
  • Our most favorite session this year concerned Oracle allowing 11 of the brightest computer user interface professionals this author has ever witnessed to demonstrate some of the most mind-blowing yet elegant concepts in presenting large volumes of information on mobile devices. It was awesome and exciting to view what is coming in technology.

Finally, we extend our sincere thanks to the Oracle internal and external corporate communications teams, especially Karen Hartquist for going the extra mile to make our visit to OracleWorld productive and meaningful. They were all dedicated and helpful.

Bob Ferrari