10 Questions For Oracle President Charles Phillips

Larry Ellison's right-hand man explains why software costs so much, what to expect from the upcoming Fusion Apps, his views on President Barack Obama, and more.
InformationWeek: Some people anticipate a more regulated environment with the new presidential administration. How will that that impact Oracle overall? What about your aggressive acquisition strategy?

Phillips: A more regulated environment, if it means more compliance and auditing requirements for customers, is good for our business. On our application strategy, so far we've diversified, so we're not worried about more scrutiny under a new administration.

InformationWeek: President Barack Obama seems to get IT, and says modernization of health care records is a priority in his administration. Do you think he'll have a positive impact on the IT industry?

Phillips: Having someone who understands what IT can do for the government is a good thing. As a citizen, I'm excited about that. Modernized health care records are something we've been hoping for two decades now. If it happens, it's more likely with this incoming administration than in the past.

InformationWeek: Has Obama's administration shown much interest in Silicon Valley's IT industry?

Phillips: They've been coming out. They’ve been in touch with a lot of technology people throughout the campaign. Barack is well plugged in.

InformationWeek: Back to your growth-through-acquisition strategy ... Many software companies' stock prices have plummeted in recent months. Does that create more opportunities for Oracle to acquire companies on the cheap?

Phillips: When you go through these slowdowns, for prices to adjust down takes time. There are some entities who think they're worth what they were worth a year ago. Psychologically [it takes time]. But it does create an opportunity for us to get someone, a very great opportunity, for a lot less ... [but] sometimes, people can stay irrational for a long time.

Note: For clarity and readability, this interview has been edited down from its entirety.