Strategic CIO // Digital Business
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1/29/2014
11:59 AM
Rob Preston
Rob Preston
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Oracle's Hurd: A 'Once-In-A-Career Opportunity'

President Mark Hurd explains Oracle's strategy on cloud, marketing, innovation, and those pesky startup rivals.

Even Oracle's ERP applications are 'headed to the cloud,' says co-president Mark Hurd.
Even Oracle's ERP applications are "headed to the cloud," says co-president Mark Hurd.

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Mark Montgomery
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Mark Montgomery,
User Rank: Strategist
2/1/2014 | 2:21:50 PM
Re: What would you ask the Oracle president?
Hi Rob,

Mark and I have some mutual acquaintences, apparently including you virtually anyway, but we've never met. I appreciate his candid view on the industry--more credible than most with less spin.

My question for him/Oracle and other market leaders in the enterprise -- in addition to the one already asked about where the growth is coming from in the industry, is whether he believes as I do that the service model was taken too far.

As you may have noticed in my comments on LI, I sent Lou/IBM a letter on the brilliant strategy at IBM at the time in mid 1990s, and he responded with interest. However, the rise of the integrationist model and related conflicts became so massive that based on my research the economics of the model wasn't sustainable, it just took a few years to manifest in the numbers. Something had to change and it had to be big. 

Is he concerned with the sales growth numbers in enterprise IT leaders? What message is it sending to him?

I'm very curious to see if his view is similar to what we are hearing direct from customers and chief influencers.

Thanks, Mark Montgomery @kyield
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
1/30/2014 | 5:38:33 PM
Six or seven years may be too long to catch the next generation
Hurd says,"It'll take them six or seven years to rewrite their code," a statement based on Oracle's own experience. It's aimed at SAP but might be applied to any legacy business application vendor trying to move a complex system into SaaS. I'm not sure Oracle did it fast enough or in such a way that crossed the generational chasm. I think more and more business applications are going to be coming from the young vendors that capture the interests and ways of doing things of the next generation. 
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/30/2014 | 4:17:30 PM
Re: What would you ask the Oracle president?
Will companies be more or less likely to switch between enterprise software vendors in the coming cloud era? Are customers more locked in, because of the challenge of moving data? 
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2014 | 11:02:01 AM
Re: What would you ask the Oracle president?
Oracle does face some generational challenges. Yet I would have to argue that their strength is something that is necessary. Data amounts are exploding, and I think Oracle will have a role in helping to store and categorized some of these sets.

Do I think their solutions are overly expensive? Yes. But I think that companies are clearly willing to pay the price to get results from their databases. 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
1/29/2014 | 2:52:52 PM
Why are the "small startups" outpacing Oracle in the cloud?
Customers do have a choice. They may consider Oracle's financial, engineering, and support strengths, as Hurd says, but they're also considering the cost and complexity of doing business with Oracle. Hurd doesn't seem to see the ease of doing business with Oracle as a particular problem. Why then, I would ask, are cloud-based companies like Salesforce.com, NetSuite, and Workday growing faster than Oracle in the cloud? They may be smaller than Oracle, but I'd hardly call them "small startups."
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/29/2014 | 12:09:53 PM
What would you ask the Oracle president?
As I mention above, I'll be sitting down with Mark Hard on April 1 during the anchor session at our InformationWeek Conference (the conference starts on March 31--informationweek.com/conference). It will be an on-stage, unscripted Q&A. What would you like me to ask Hurd? Please keep the questions high level and relevant to Hurd's role at Oracle. Come April, we'll report back on his answers.
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