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8/18/2010
09:47 PM
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: Oracle Execs Offer Deep Insights Into Company's Soul

Oracle's thinking on MySQL, hardware convergence, infrastructure consolidation, case studies from Home Depot, Toys R Us and RIM, and more.

It's a grand and glorious time to be a CIO because SAP and IBM and Hewlett-Packard and Oracle are all aggressively revamping and expanding their product lines, rapidly assimilating acquired companies and technologies, and battling like hell against each other to offer value-rich technologies and strategies aimed at helping those CIOs' companies become faster, smarter, better, and more profitable.

IBM's been on a software buying spree and just revamped its high-end server lineup; Hewlett-Packard's just acquired Fortify; SAP later today will roll out its new Sybase-powered unwired roadmap; and Oracle's only one month out from sharing its new plans with 40,000 of its best friends at Oracle Open World.

I'm not sure this industry's ever seen this sort of high-velocity evolution of IT product lines and performance standards and, perhaps most important, business-oriented thinking and communication. While there are unquestionably some areas of similarity, each of those four global IT powerhouses is approaching the market and its customers with distinctive and unique value propositions.

Over the next week or so, we here at Global CIO will be taking a long, hard look at the strategies and roadmaps of each of those four companies. We've already dug pretty deeply into Oracle's plans based on a series of interviews with top executives and our ongoing analyses of Larry Ellison's proclamations; we've got some equally high-level interviews lined up for later today at IBM and later this month with SAP's leaders; and with regard to HP, we'll be following through on your recent analyses of what the company needs to do in the post-Hurd era.

For today, here's a look at some compelling comments from four of Oracle's top executives that will give you unique insights into how the company views the markets it's in, the customers it serves, and the opportunities it faces. The following 10 Oracle insights come from our recent exclusive interviews with chief corporate architect Edward Screven, executive VP John Fowler, executive VP Thomas Kurian, and senior VP Andy Mendelsohn.

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1) Screven on sales of MySQL under Oracle ownership: "It's going well. I think customers for about a 2-month period had a little bit of a wait-and-see attitude—'Is Oracle really going to continue investing in MySQL, or is it going to try to do something to disadvantage MySQL in the market?' When they saw that we were not [going to disadvantage MySQL in the market], and in fact that we were going to do exactly what we said we were going to do—which is invest more in MySQL and make sure it's part of the overall Oracle solution—they started buying again. So actually it's been very good—it's probably even better than I could have hoped, given the transition."

2) Screven on profile of MySQL customers:

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