Ian “Fresh” Burns of the Oracle Racing Design team did an exhilarating talk over dinner at the Oracle analyst event this week. It was about the long, storied history of America’s Cup going back to Queen Victoria (with slides on the Deed of Gift from 1852), the technology in modern races (think of the Big Data from 250 sensors constantly feeding parameters), the evolution of craft composites and construction and the stamina of the athletes on the teams as they combat everything nature throws at them.
In many ways, his talk was a metaphor for the event, and the company Oracle has become. Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd should be justifiably proud of the many components that makes up the Oracle vessel, and the many athletes they have assembled. 60 Oracle execs presented 40 sessions spread across 6 tracks that covered the gambit of today’s technology spectrum (see extract below)
Anthony Lye can authoritatively talk about customer experience and filtering of social data. Roger Turnham knows more than outsourcing analysts as he deals with 69 Oracle BPO partners. John Fowler is equally comfortable about processors and government regs for data centers around the world. Thomas Kurian can talk middleware and vertical industry trends.
Customers were comfortable naming Oracle names – Steve Miranda, Endeca came up often. Most attendees I talked to marveled at the quality of the CIO panel at the event. They were balanced in their description of Oracle – but in my short one-on-ones with several of them they came across as demanding, sophisticated customers and Oracle is delivering to them on many fronts.
The other vibe from the event – one of subdued Oracle confidence. Those of us who have dealt with Oracle for years know it has a hard charging side (and as a reminder the court proceeedings against Google were happening in parallel). I complimented Carol Sato of Oracle Marketing for bringing out the softer side of Oracle over the last few months.
In the 90s I used to be impressed every trip I made to SAP Walldorf. Every product manager was competent in his/her domain and product. It was a joy to see. I felt the same vibe this week in Redwood Shores. With one big difference – Oracle has a much, much broader and much more contemporary footprint. As my readers know, I am big on Polymaths, and Oracle is getting there as it mixes and matches a variety of competencies in its engineered systems and cloud plans.
As Burns would say - it is building an awesome AC72 class enterprise.
Photo Credits - above Carol Sato, below Oracle