Oracle Execs Detail App Integration Strategy

At Oracle OpenWorld, Safra Catz and Charles Phillips, Oracle's presidents, pledged full integration of Sun hardware and software.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

October 12, 2009

3 Min Read

Oracle Presidents Safra Catz and Charles Phillips shared the stage Monday morning at Oracle OpenWorld to reaffirm Oracle's commitment to integrated applications and product suites.

Oracle's frequent acquisitions will ultimately serve that purpose, Phillips told the crowd. Instead of shipping customers the parts of a car that they must assemble in their garage, Oracle wants to ship the whole vehicle.

"That's what all those acquisitions have been about -- so we can send you a complete car," he said in his keynote address at the San Francisco Moscone Center. "We have 20,000 developers working year round to integrate" the acquired products, Phillips added.

"We can't send a complete car unless we have all the pieces," said Catz.

The two presidents also pledged a full integration of Sun Microsystems "hardware and software," once Oracle's acquisition is completed, pending the outcome of a European Commission investigation. "We will do the same thing with Sun hardware and software that we've done with all the other acquisitions--make them better," said Phillips.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Sun Microsystems Chairman Scott McNealy appeared together Sunday on a stage at the Moscone Center to vow that Sun's hardware and other technologies will be continued after the two companies are merged.

Oracle announced its plans to acquire Sun in April and the U.S. Justice Department approved the deal Aug. 20. But on Sept. 3, the European Commission launched a secondary investigation in the possible anti-competitive aspects of the deal.

Late last year, Oracle acquired project management software supplier Primavera. Phillips invited Joel Koppelman, Primavera's founder and now senior VP of Oracle's Primavera unit, on stage to illustrate the integration of Oracle P6 Primavera Project Portfolio Management with Oracle E-Business Suite, J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, Agile and Spatial applications, all acquisitions by Oracle.

The integrations are needed because projects are frequently revised while underway --"there are always changes," Koppelman said -- and project managers need to enter those changes into accounting and budgeting applications. Without links to financial applications, project management can only show funds committed to a project and the amount already spent, without reconciling the figures if more needs to be added to the budget, Koppelman noted.

"Twenty-five percent of business spending in developed nations is on projects. It's time to get this right," he said.

Oracle's Retek retail applications have been integrated with Oracle Demantra demand management applications to give retail managers a way to implement "fast fashion," a constantly revolving selection of latest fashions, instead of relying on two major selling seasons a year, said Duncan Angove, senior VP of Oracle's retail business unit.

By using business intelligence tools, Demantra can summarize results from thousands of retail stores and advise management where the price point is on a line of goods that will move it more quickly, while sacrificing the minimum on profit margin.

Ann Livermore, HP's executive VP of enterprise business, took the stage as well to assure the audience that Oracle's acquisition of Sun didn't mean an end to the long-standing Oracle-HP cooperative relationship. Forty percent of Oracle databases are deployed on HP systems, she said.

HP as a company is "one of Oracle's largest customers" and together they have 140,000 customers in common, she noted. (Oracle claims a total of 345,000 customers.)

Oracle has been advertising the Oracle 11g database running on Sun hardware as the combination that it wishes to use to compete with IBM, ads trumpeted. Those ads brought Oracle a $10,000 slap on the wrist from the Transaction Processing Council for making an unsubstantiated TPC-C claim. HP hardware figures into Oracle's product future as well, said Livermore.

"Many HP business intelligence solutions on a global basis are deployed alongside Oracle… Our partnership with Oracle is critical to content and value of solutions we provide," she said.

Oracle OpenWorld continues in San Francisco through Oct. 15.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Sun's future under Oracle. Download the report here (registration required).

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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