Oracle aspires to be master of modern information

25 Jun 2003

LONDON: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (pictured) took potshots at competitors in yesterday’s keynote speech at the company’s AppsWorld conference, while making the case for its unique take on business technology.

“We think about the entire business first,” he said, citing data fragmentation as the biggest problem to automated processes, and his company – the number one database vendor – as provider of the cure. “There is no way web services can solve fragmentation,” he said. “CRM says it gives a 360 degree view of customers, but it can’t be done.”

The right way to automate business is exemplified by the defining principles of Oracle enterprise products and the E-Business Suite in particular according to Ellison. This is because it enables all applications to sit on top of a single database, the way that ‘modern information systems’ should work. “We sell databases and you brought too many of them,” he quipped.

The Oracle public relations team had spent the morning prior to his speech dodging questions about the proposed PeopleSoft acquisition but Ellison inevitably broke the silence. In the event of a successful takeover he refuted suggestions that Oracle would kill the product. He pledged to support existing customers while making it clear that Oracle wouldn’t actively promote it in the future.

Earlier in the day, Ireland came in for a special mention when Oracle’s Sergio Giacoletto warned of the increasing competitive challenge facing European governments. The executive vice president cited Ireland as a country that was losing ground as a centre of high-tech leadership.

“Surprise, surprise, Ireland is now under threat from other countries that are coming up offering similar competitiveness,” he warned, namechecking India as a viable alternative. The message was part of a broad warning to governments that they had a huge responsibility to grasp the promise of technology. He talked of Oracle’s vision of a ‘connected Europe’ with every citizen wired to their work and their government.

“Unless we utilise internet systems we will not succeed,” he said. As for progress so far, he described Europe’s e-government initiatives as patchy. “It’s really down to the skills of each particular government to drive it,” he said.

By Ian Campbell