Oracle Financial Services Data Warehouse hints at how Oracle, along with Microsoft and Salesforce.com, are aiming IT services at specific industries and tasks.
In the midst of the global recession, most businesses put a
lockdown on IT spending. No upgraded hardware or software, executives insisted,
until we find a way out of this mess. The problem-or the opportunity, if you're
a software or hardware provider-is that IT infrastructure continued to age in
place, until the need for modernization became so pressing that businesses
began to open their wallets again.
The Oracle Financial Services Data Warehouse, unveiled Jan.
27, is supposed to play into the pent-up need for new and more modern data
warehousing-at least for financial institutions. Previous data-warehousing
models, the company argues, are growing more antiquated and unwieldy by the
week. As a replacement, Oracle Financial Services Data Warehouse offers
architecture pre-built for rapid deployment and designed to handle those
institutions increasingly complex number-crunching needs.
The platform leverages Oracle Exadata Database Machine for processing
those complex scenarios. Contextual data-quality checks, paired with the
automated removal of inconsistencies across ledgers and books, helps with the
inevitable accuracy and consistency issues that arise within a financial
"Improving the quality and consistency of decisions is a
renewed priority for major industries," Henry Morris, a senior vice president
at research firm IDC, wrote in a Jan. 27 statement provided by Oracle, "as
enterprises need to get a better handle on their risk exposure, ensure that
they comply with new regulations, and gain the maximum return for each customer
Over the past several quarters, Oracle has focused intensely
on selling enterprises a unified stack that extends through most of their
business processes. It argues, of course, that such a stack ultimately makes IT
management and administration more efficient, and allows companies to leverage
their data for greater efficiency and analysis. Oracle's competitors retort
that a unified stack essentially locks clients into the Oracle ecosystem.
As with Microsoft and Salesforce.com, Oracle has also moved
to embrace the cloud. In September, the company introduced the Oracle Exalogic
"cloud in a box" system for private cloud environments, utilizing hardware
acquired by Sun. At the time, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison lashed out at
Salesforce.com, saying its rival's apps constituted a "very
For its part, Microsoft's "all in" cloud strategy involves
convincing companies that its servers can handle their IT needs. In addition,
new initiatives such as Office 365 seek to move Microsoft's traditionally desktop-based
ecosystem more into the cloud. Microsoft argues that its various software
platforms' interoperability offers a sizable advantage over its rivals'
As the Oracle Financial Services Data Warehouse suggests,
all the companies competing for enterprise IT dollars are focusing their
efforts not only on specific industries, but also updating their platforms for
an increasingly complex business environment. And if business spending
increases over the next few quarters, that means potentially billions of
dollars to be earned or lost.