Within the confines of our closed Google Groups forum, the Enterprise Irregulars have vigorous food fights on a whole bunch of topics.
Sometimes these debates spill over - this time the topic is around Oracle and whether it innovates. I am glad this debate has gone public. Customers have paid Oracle over $ 75 billion in the last five years and bloggers and analysts and media should all be exploring the value for money for that spend rather than just dutifully reporting its many acquisitions.
Here is the chronology of EI posts on the topic:
I kicked it off last Friday
Dennis Howlett jumped in Monday with his question whether Oracle was an "innovation free zone"
Josh Greenbaum jumped in Tuesday
Paul Greenberg joined in Wednesday
And on Paul's post Bob Warfield and I are slugging it out in the comments
I can see Bob's point when he says "It's true, they are focused on acquisition, but even that is innovative in our High Tech industry these days which mostly consists of Not Invented Here shops."
But I can only agree with that argument to a point - it's a "in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king" argument which would be more persusaive if we did not have Google, Apple, Cisco, Intel, and several other innovators.
It is obviously subjective, but I reward innovation with mentions on my New Florence blog. In the last 3 years there are over 1,000 posts on wide range of innovation areas from mobility to telepresence. Oracle has been featured there only 3 times - once on Larry Ellison and his fine taste and how that spurs innovation (I call him a modern day Medici) in clothing, high performance autos etc; once on Exadata, and once on the BMW Oracle trimaran.
Note that only one of them relates to an Oracle product - and that too a joint development with HP.
I am constantly looking for examples of innovation to showcase on that blog, but they have to be compelling in terms of customer payback and wow factor. Sure, I have considered putting features like Oracle's Social CRM on the innovation blog but it just was not that compelling after factoring in the typical Oracle TCO.
I would love to profile Oracle more on the innovation blog, but there is just not enough coming out of Redwood Shores. For the $ 75 billion over 5 years customers have paid I am with Dennis - Oracle has been innovation light, if not innovation free.
So you have 2 EIs - Dennis and me - who think Oracle has under-delivered innovation. 3 - Paul, Josh and Bob - think Oracle is doing fine.
Where do readers stand on this?