Eye on Oracle

Oct 1 2008   8:36AM GMT

OpenWorld: A big week for Oracle or much ado about nothing?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

Another OpenWorld has come and gone – – and as always, Oracle had plenty of big announcements.

Or, did they?

The software giant announced its entrance into the appliance market with the Exadata product line, revealed Beehive, its new collaborative platform, and gave other updates on Oracle E-Business Suite, Siebel, cloud computing, partnerships and more. While this news excited some, others – – like CIO.com blogger Thomas Wailgum, who called OpenWorld a “SnoozeFest” – – just didn’t see what the big deal was.

Many attendees were actually more disappointed about what wasn’t said than what was. As many bloggers asked, where were the Fusion-related announcements? We didn’t learn much, except for that the first suite of Fusion Applications may not ship until 2010. As pointed out in in this News York Times article, while Oracle was forthcoming with its cloud computing plans, it remained tight-lipped on Fusion Apps:

“Chuck Rozwat, Oracle‘s head of product development, largely deflected questions about hotly anticipated technologies such as Fusion Applications during a Q&A session with reporters at the OpenWorld conference,” wrote IDG News service reporter Chris Kanaracus.

Also missing was any news on a second release of Oracle 11g. Besides the fact that 11g R2 is about to start its beta program, there were no major announcements on the release and no features were revealed, to the disappointment of many.

Here are some other takes on what did and didn’t work at OpenWorld 2008:

Ellison’s keynote and the Exadata announcement:

  • Peter Scott at Rittman Mead Consulting: “For strange people like me, people that see the world as moving large amounts of data around, it was exciting news. For me, data retrieval and storage are bulk processes and need to be achieved in way that does not swamp the capacity of that weak link, IO bandwidth.”
  • CIO.com’s Thomas Wailgum: “…Ellison’s odd keynote on Oracle’s new hardware and branding partnership with HP? Sorry. Boring!”
  • Former Gartner Analyst Vinnie Mirchandani: “About the speech, though – what was fascinating was there was no mention of Fusion – or indeed any of the Beehive or “social” CRM apps Oracle showcased earlier in week. No shots at Oracle’s major competitors – SAP, Microsoft or soon to be Cisco in the collaboration space. Instead he picked on Teradata and Netezza?”
  • Tim from Oracle-Base: I think I’m in the minority when I say I was a little underwhelmed by the keynote yesterday. I’m sure there are many positive points about Oracle Exadata Storage and HP Oracle Database Machine, but it all seems a little irrelevant to me.”
  • Doug’s Oracle Blog: “Stuff like the HP Oracle Exadata storage appliance are exactly why I’m in this business. I love systems and new architectures and high performance. Call me crazy, but who *cares* how many customers will benefit from it.”


The Oracle Beehive Announcement:

  • ZDNet’s Sam Diaz: “I’m a bit leery about getting excited over Beehive, largely because I just saw a bunch of different Web-based collaboration products showcased at the Office 2.0 conference a few weeks ago.”


  • Knowledge Infusion CEO Jason Averbook: “I have seen many blogs and clips about people saying ‘nothing new, same old thing compared to Twitter and Facebook.’ One of the things that people forget is that these tools ARE NOT in most enterprises today and organizations are struggling with how to use them. Oracle’s foray into this space is very exciting as one of the way’s enterprises will adopt Web 2.0 tools is if they are tightly integrated with their daily business applications.”


Cloud computing plans:

  • Matt Asay from CNet.com: “One area in which Oracle did shine was in CEO Larry Ellison’s shot at cloud computing, calling the infatuation with the cloud ‘complete gibberish.’”


Blogger/Press designations:

  • Steve Gillmore from TechCrunchIT: “This year marks the detente between what Oracle PR calls press and what they call bloggers. Each of us media types was given a large badge with either press or blogger written in enormous red letters. I think the theory was to allow Oracle and third-party vendors to tell at 100 feet what type you were and suggest management procedures based on that triage…The basic problem is that there is actually no difference between the two designations.”


Michael Phelps’ appearance in Charles Phillips’ keynote

  • Diaz: “I didn’t catch anything in the speech that would generate any real excitement. Maybe that’s why Phillips welcomed Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps to the stage. It was cool to see the scruffy-faced Phelps but what was he doing there? The only thing he really told us was that he eats, sleeps and swims all day. I kind of already figured that’s what his day was like but I didn’t expect to have it confirmed at Oracle OpenWorld.”

What about you? Who do you agree or disagree with? What are your final thoughts on Oracle OpenWorld 2008?

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