SAN DIEGO, Calif.—In a roundtable discussion with members of the technology press, Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison on Wednesday talked frankly about backtracking on his message of “suite versus best of breed” promulgated by Oracle over the past several years.
“Integration is a change in our strategy,” said Ellison. “Really big companies dont want that [to implement Oracle E-Business Suite exclusively]. We got a fair share of [customer] wins, then listened to what customers wanted. They cant get to the E-Business Suite, but [want] all their customer data in one place.”
To that end, Oracle announced today its Customer Data Hub, which serves as a central hub that culls information from disparate systems—be they Oracle or its competitors systems.
In his keynote address earlier in the day here at Oracles AppsWorld, Ellison likened the Customer Data Hub to the financial industrys real-time credit system that maintains all the relevant information for any individual throughout the world with a credit card.
“What happened was all the separate financial institutions all got together and decided for purposes of minimizing risk, they would take information out of their systems and deposit it into a data hub—not a warehouse. Its got to be real time,” said Ellison. “[With the Customer Data Hub] its not global, its just your company, but its an architecture thats proven, scalable and modern. It really is our entrance into the information age.”
During the Wednesday discussion, Ellison touched on other aspects of the information age. He said RFID [radio frequency identification] is the “new cool thing;” Oracle yesterday announced its support for RFID.
“Were rapid to adopt new technology. We are promiscuous in that sense; we have a hard time predicting which technology will emerge. We cant predict the winners—and we dont have the luxury,” to wait it out to see which technologies emerge, he added.
Regarding Oracles latest technology, the namesake 10g Database due this past December, Ellison said it will be released this month.
“We missed that by 30 days,” said Ellison. “[In the technology industry] thats on time or early.”
Asked what systems should be developed in the future, Ellison suggested both a terrorist database and a medical information database.
Closer to home, Ellison said the recent shifts in Oracles executive lineuprecent shifts in Oracles executive lineup—executive vice presidents Chuck Phillips and Safra Catz were named co-presidents earlier this month—made sense from an operational standpoint. Phillips, in his new role, is responsible for field services such as marketing and sales, while Catz is in charge of internal operations.
Asked whether Phillips or Catz is inline to succeed him as CEO, Ellison was candid.
“Yes, they are,” he said. “But its not clear [what the qualifications are for the next CEO will be]. It could be [someone] from senior engineering as well.”