It’s been a good Oracle Open World so far, unless you wanted some exciting news about Fusion Apps. All the cyberworld was a-twitter (pun intended) about that during the run-up to the event. If that’s what you wanted, sorry – the payoff couldn’t have been flatter if the Governator had run over it with one of his Hummers. (More likely his wife would have done it while illegally talking on her cell phone.) There was a great theme this year: “Come With Questions. Leave With Answers.” Yup. And the answer was: “Wait till next year.”
If you wanted to talk about the exciting new opportunities in the Sun-Oracle partnership… sorry on that one too. But that’s not Oracle’s fault. The EU evidently can’t see that a powerful company behind MySQL is the best possible competition for their other bogeyman, Microsoft. There was plenty of other news, much of it very good, and across so many different constituencies that Oracle Open World appears to have outgrown its Moscone Center home. Too many venues, too many sessions, too many hotels, and too many topics in the rambling keynotes (Thomas Kurian’s was the exception – a clear exposition, if long, as he drilled all the way through the Red Stack from UI to server provisioning.) Those whose favorite offerings didn’t get mentioned till early in the third hour – yes, sometimes they went that long – exited in droves. In fact, the only lines that approached the ones attempting to get in to keynotes were the ones later trying to get out, especially when HP and Dell attempted during their slots to outsell the ShamWow guy. Some people never learn.
Because many analysts had non-disclosable briefings about Fusion Apps in advance, there was ample content to publish quickly. One of the best discussions you’re likely to see is Paul Hamerman’s, in his Forrester blog here. I won’t repeat any of it; I urge you to check it out. Ray Wang’s blog post lists the specific offerings and some key principles of the Oracle design, which if delivered, will certainly change the apps game. Read him too. But in summary: wait till next year.
There was good news all over the show: about business intelligence from the OBIEE gang; OLAP talk from both the Oracle DB side and the Essbase team; update stories from PeopleSoft, Siebel and JDE, anticipated impact from GoldenGate.
But nothing was more interesting to me than what was going on in the Oracle database. When the largest vendor of DBMS software says fundamental things are about to change, you listen. And that message was unmistakable, powerful, and likely to be a very big story in the year ahead, MySQL or no MySQL. Oracle is interested in database again – at the CEO level, to hear the team tell it. Ellison has talked about Exadata in every recent earnings call. He’s driving decisions about features, and what’s optional or not in design, analysts were told in today’s database briefing. Welcome back, Larry.
Ultimately, in choosing from among a phenomenally rich array of content, my best decision of the event was my last: skipping the keynote that was expected to be the big launch of Fusion apps. It was the last topic Larry got to, after the database stuff and the now de rigeur IBM bashing – a yawner. And I got home in time to write this post.