Oracle opens up with new integration product
SAN DIEGO - In the opening keynotes at Oracle’s AppsWorld event, company leaders outlined a future strategy for it its applications business that acknowledged the need to win over customers that were wrestling with the integration of complex legacy systems.
The Customer Data Hub delivers an enterprise view of customer information, a real time synchronisation of information which Phillips described as "a single source of truth that transcends any applications". Comprising familiar Oracle components such as AppsServer and database software with web services stacked on top, its ability to talk to third party applications could be seen as an acknowledgement that the one-stop e-Business Suite, was proving to be a hard sell.
"It's an acknowledgement that customers can't always get there [the eBusiness Suite] that quickly," he told siliconrepublic.com. He also explained that the Data Hub was an opportunity to sell into its competitors install base and a first step to selling customers up to the full e-Business Suite.
The suggestion that Oracle was coming late to the integration game was refuted by Phillips. "We always did a lot of work on integration, we just didn't choose to talk about it. Now the 'i' word is on the table," he said.
Comparing it to rival products Phillips argued that Oracle had an innovative offering: "No-one else has a consistent data model that runs across the organisation and lets you integrate to a common point. The main competition is customers trying to do it themselves. One of the reasons it took us so long [to develop the product] is that there wasn't a defined market. We've created a market."
The Hub has evolved from talking to customers who were struggling to maintain information quality in their organisations, a direct result of what Oracle described as its "renewed focus in customer activities".
As for the ongoing bid to take over of PeopleSoft, the hot topic has become lukewarm. Oracle spokespeople repeatedly said that there was little to discuss until the US Justice Department had had made its call on whether it would allow the takeover bid to proceed. A decision is expected in March.
By Ian Campbell