Two years ago almost to the day, Larry Ellison interviewed with Ed Zander at the Churchill Club. In the video you see him poking fun at the cloud. Just two years later Ellison is the cloud’s biggest promoter, in fact he exemplifies Kennedy’s maxim that “Victory has a hundred fathers, defeat is an orphan.” In two years Oracle has gotten the social and cloud religion and done a stunning job of building out products in multiple directions. Historically, this rivals Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus.
Oracle Open World opens up on Sunday with a keynote at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The annual convention will attract about forty thousand people to the Bay area and promises to be exciting and interesting on multiple levels.
This will be the first Open World post Oracle’s acquisition of computer pioneer Sun Microsystems. Last year Oracle introduced a version of its Exadata storage unit based on Sun architecture (and presumptive deal close) and with the company finally in the fold you can bet there will be more product announcements that mix hardware and system software.
I don’t know if there will be net new announcements, but Sun was the driver of the Java revolution and reduced instruction set computing among other things, so I think it’s way safe to say there will be interesting things coming out of that camp.
This is also the first year post limited release of Oracle’s Fusion architecture. Fusion, you may recall, is a platform intended to unify the many disparate applications that Oracle bought up a few years ago. It is also the platform for merging and rebuilding applications along a more or less consistent Oracle product direction. With another year of development and roll out of Fusion, there will be much more to discuss and announce next week.
There’s also cloud computing to consider. A little over a year ago Larry Ellison was caught on tape at the Churchill Club pooh-poohing cloud computing but that was before Oracle really had a dog, a pack actually, in the hunt. Now that Oracle is better positioned, and given that Oracle’s database and servers support so much of cloud computing, look for Oracle to claim credit for the sunrise — to paraphrase an old Bill Clinton line.
Then, too, you can expect the usual shenanigans from a whole host of characters and partners. Everyone in this business today is into coopetition so look for fun announcements from Dell, HP (we want our secrets back) and Salesforce.com for starters.
Speaking of Salesforce, back by popular demand (or whatever) Marc Benioff will again address a crowd at the Yerba Buena Theater just down the street from the conference. Last year’s inaugural talk was expected to be some kind of challenge to Oracle but turned out to be a very successful symbiotic and statesman-like address. Too bad too because we all waited outside in the rain for the doors to open expecting something more combustible. This year, I hope it’s a sunny day.
On the CRM front, Anthony Lye and company have been working hard all year (Sounds like Christmas and the North Pole, doesn’t it?) to advance the front office suite on multiple fronts. The CRM team has scheduled two hundred sessions for the conference just on CRM. Forget the database, Java and Sun, if you’re into CRM the conference will have you drinking from a fire hose.
Trying to register for sessions is a Byzantine process though, which uses an on-line system that looks like it was built by monkeys on crack. To keep my sanity I have decided not to register for anything but to simply show up. I have a hard copy schedule. I know this strategy might exclude me from a few popular sessions but I figure that’s what beers are for.
The real star of the show, for me, will be the city of San Francisco. It’s not a perfect place for sure, but there is a wonderful energy in the city any time and it’s triply true during Open World and Dreamforce. You walk around high on the possibilities uncovered in the sessions and accented by the environment — the hills, the cable cars, the fog, the restaurants and most importantly the indefatigably optimistic crowd of natives and visitors. Did I mention the California wines?
I digress. One week till Open World. I don’t know what will be announced because I won’t get briefed till later and then I’ll be in quarantine. So, I don’t know any more than you. But I can’t wait.
This is completely speculation on my part but I was wondering if Larry Ellison has any intention of speaking at Dreamforce the same way that Marc Benioff spoke at Oracle Open World. Might be fun but keep in mind that this speculation. If you have any information I would love to hear it.
The Oracle Sales Executive Summit 2009 that I attended during Open World attracted senior sales talent from major corporations and many of them spoke about their experiences and successes with Oracle CRM and SFA products. All of the speakers’ biographies were printed in a handout and, since the session included a live feed from Larry Ellison’s keynote, his biography was also included.
It read in full:
Lawrence J. Ellison
Chief Executive Officer
Larry Ellison has been CEO of Oracle Corporation since he founded the company in 1977. He also races sailboats, flies planes, and plays tennis and guitar.
This is the first of several posts on Open World. Too much stuff to put into one so this one concentrates on blurbs of key findings from the many goings on. I will probably need to expand on many of these.
First, flying Virgin America is like flying used to be. Room for my knee caps is a plus, wi-fi, better food, uncrowded departure lounges, and security lines no cattle call for boarding. My first time and I am spoiled.
Why does Larry Ellison wait until Wednesday to give his keynote. Some people are already on their ways home by that point and they miss the significant news.
So many Oracle people walking around visibly tired by Wednesday as am I. The sheer volume of news, presentations, briefings, meetings, demos and trying to digest it all is too much. Tuesday night I was too tired to eat dinner. Too tired?! But I have pity on the Oracle people who keep a stiff upper lip and keep up this pace. My prediction is few people in their offices on Monday.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gives a good speech, much less wooden in person, almost life-like. Arnold really likes technology and if he could have gotten ten bucks for every time he used the word in his speech at OOW he could have balanced California’s budget.
If Carley gets elected governor will Larry invite her to OOW? Would she come? Larry will own Sun by then and Carley ran HP. Hmmm.
OOW was a little cat and mouse game on the inside track. Larry criticizing Cloud Computing at the Churchill Club followed by Marc Benioff walking into the lion’s den on Tuesday to extol its virtues and then Larry’s introduction of Fusion apps on Wednesday.
Larry played cat and mouse with IBM too challenging Big Blue to a gun fight over benchmarks. He offered a ten million dollar prize to anyone who could best his sparc server array. Pure chutzpa, the Sun deal isn’t even closed yet and Larry’s got a dog in the fight. Is this the beginning of the Ellison prize?
I am not a gear head but the gear introductions were impressive. Exadata 2 based on Sparc technology is twice as fast as version 1 which uses HP. Version 1 was ONLY about 50 times (sic) faster than the fastest database servers on the planet. Proof that Larry is slowing down LOL!
Larry (finally) announced Fusion applications on Wednesday. He made four major announcements – Fusion, Exadata 2, a sophisticated service and support automated system that would find problems and recommend fixes for all subscribing customers proactively and Oracle Enterprise Linux rules the known universe or some such thing. More on those coming soon.