Global CIO: IBM On Oracle Exadata: It's A Hog To Install
IBM product chief Steve Mills delivers unique insights on analytics, acquisitions, and archrival Larry Ellison and Oracle.
On Oracle and Larry Ellison: "Customers want better time-to-value. Nothing Oracle delivers is fast to deliver. It takes weeks to install an Exadata box [Oracle's database server product]. This 'all-in-one' idea that shows up in Larry's ideas and ads in reality requires a lot of labor. We are a primary provider of that labor to that market; we have a huge services business that revolves around the technologies that Oracle creates." And for more on why Mills thinks Exadata requires expensive and lengthy installations, you can read the whole Q&A here.
On Netezza and data warehousing: "One of the reasons we acquired Netezza, we recognized that customers have built hundreds of thousands of data marts and data warehouses, not necessarily having procured the data consistently. Netezza has a very nice model for a prepackaged data warehouse that improves consistency. We saw a lot of power in that." (For a deep analysis of IBM's strategy with Netezza, please check out our column from earlier this week called Global CIO: IBM's Most Disruptive Acquisition In 2010 Is Netezza.)
The power of measuring real-time public sentiment: "Public sentiment can be measured and captured almost in real time. If you're a retailer or consumer packaged-goods company, you think a lot about what people think about a product you are putting out or planning to put out."
The value of Twitter-stream analyses: "Tweets are unstructured, but I need to understand what is in a tweet and apply value to the adverbs and adjectives and nouns and create a rating structure on relative sentiment on any particular topic."
On IBM's extensive acquisition list in analytics: "We are the company that invented the disk drive and the database. We run the world's largest private enterprise math department at IBM Research. But for as much as we develop, we can't seem to get it all fast enough."
On what's difficult about acquisitions : "I worry more about integrations and how we will leverage an acquisition. The easy part of buying companies is buying; the hard part is creating a value equation better than what the company could have done on its own."
On IBM putting all hardware under his control: "Sam Palmisano asked me to take this one, recognizing that, looking ahead, we need to continue enhancing hardware design. Customers don't see [hardware and software] as separate technologies."