Customers to Quest for Candor at Oracle OpenWorld

Opinion: Attendees at the San Francisco conference will be scooping up any crumbs of information about what Oracle's applications lineup might look like if the company finally buys out PeopleSoft.

The Oracle OpenWorld conference starting Monday in San Francisco will likely be more closely watched than some of the other recent renditions of this annual show.

Thats because this years OpenWorld may give some hints about how the company might integrate PeopleSoft applications into its product lineup now that it appears to be closer than ever to actually closing the buyout.

What customers and attendees should be looking for is whether Oracle has any kind of coherent enterprise application strategy, with or without the PeopleSoft applications factored in.

In its 26-year history, Oracle never has never been as commanding a player in the applications business as it has been in the database industry. It has been the third contender behind PeopleSoft and SAP AG in the ERP (enterprise resource planning) sector even as it has tried diligently to match most of PeopleSofts offerings application for application.

Oracles problem has been that it hasnt focused on developing world-class ERP applications for the sake of being the market leader in those application spaces. It develops applications mainly to keep spurring the sales of new Oracle relational database installations.

That is still the main purpose of what is likely to be the big enterprise application news at this years OpenWorld: the introduction of Tsunami, Oracles enterprise content management initiative.

/zimages/1/28571.gifTo read more about Oracles Tsunami enterprise content management technology, click here.

Tsunami is designed to serve as the latest entry in the long list of document and content management systems that are supposed to help large corporations make sense of their vast stores of correspondence, e-mail, marketing communications or training material.

Enterprises are always looking for new products that will help them do this more efficiently because they havent yet found a product that allows them to sort and retrieve unstructured documents as effectively as they want to meet business, legal and regulatory requirements.

The latest reports indicate that Oracle will introduce Tsunami as a major upgrade of its Collaboration Suite. But typically, Oracle officials dont stress that Tsunami is designed to become the top content management product on the market. But they are quick to say it will help drive sales of Oracle databases.

Next page: What customers want to know.

John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...