Ellison is always good for a few quips about Oracle's competitors. He insisted that Oracle's Java container is better than JBoss, that SAP is taking a big risk in not supporting key standards, and that Salesforce.com's AppExchange is a "wacky" idea. Hmmm. Marc Benioff, are you going to let him get away with that comment?
Ellison did offer up a healthy dose of confidence in the on-demand computing model that Salesforce.com is widely known for. "We've embraced on-demand for a long time. We think it is a key portion of our future." Ellison questioned why a customers need to go out and buy computers, choose operating systems, figure out how to install it all when all they really need to do is, say, accounting. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. They should be buying services over the 'Net." The on-demand model allows companies to access software over the Internet when they need it, rather than maintaining the application on site. Most vendors in this space charge a monthly, per-user subscription price. SAP entered the market for CRM on-demand last week -- better late than never.
So, a talk with Ellison couldn't possibly ignore questions about acquisitions. Has the company digested PeopleSoft, Siebel, and others enough to start consuming more? If so, when? who? "Our acquisition strategy is quite simple... We don't buy anything if we can't be number one. The number one company makes all the money. The number two player is just not terribly interesting." Well, Oracle isn't number one in middleware-- yet. "You'll see us do a variety of things to get to that position [in middleware], including acquisitions," Ellison said. We've heard him say that before and we are still waiting....Who would you like to see Oracle buy next? Who do you want them to stay away from? Come on, share your wish list.