This morning at 8:30 was the second of the two keynote speeches at this year’s Collaborate conference in Las Vegas. (The first keynote was delivered on Monday by Oracle president Charles Phillips.) A little surprisingly, today’s session was led not by anyone from Oracle but by Mark Shearer from IBM. After brief introductions from the mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar B. Goodman, and the directors of events and conferences from the IOUG, OAUG and Quest, Shearer, the general manager of the System i server line at IBM, stepped onto the stage.
Tim, Mark and I wondered if Oracle and IBM would be making some sort of announcement at the conference. This didn’t seem to be the case; the main purpose of the speech was to broadly explain the nature of the ongoing relationship between Oracle and IBM and to demonstrate its success through a couple of case studies.
Shearer opened up by noting that user group meetings like Collaborate are “one of the greatest catalysts for innovation” in the industry. He then outlined his primary points, which included a focus on solutions for small and midsized businesses. In reference to the Applications Unlimited program, Shearer said, “You were excited 12 months ago, but you said, ‘The proof is in the pudding,’” and went on to claim that the program was proving successful with thousands of clients.
The presentation included two videos which summarized how Oracle and IBM had worked together on implementations. The first video centered on U.K.-based NHS, the largest employer in Europe. (The IBM-Oracle partnership “really does span the globe,” Shearer said.) The video outlined how NHS successfully overhauled its enormous human resources system with Oracle software on IBM hardware. The second video focused on how SNC Lavalin Profac, the largest Canadian outsourced services provider, moved its JD Edwards applications from Intel to the i Series platform, enabling greater scalability and reliability.
Shearer also emphasized Oracle and IBM’s concentration on providing products and services for specific industries, including banking, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and on hosting/outsourcing.