Saturday, July 28, 2007

Interview with Oracle's President, Charle Phillips

InformationWeek has a good interview with Charles Phillips where he discusses Oracle's competition. Charles Phillips has been in the background at Oracle for a long time but in the last few years has really been the driving force. I think he is largely responsible for the current acquisition strategy that Oracle is following.

Some good Q&A from the interview (some of these are not the entire quote, read the article fore the entire quote):

InformationWeek: Oracle can't possibly replace the majority of SAP ERP deployments since companies have gone through so much time and expense putting them in place. So what exactly is Oracle's endgame in business software?

Phillips: In other cases, we simply surround SAP's general ledger with best-of-breed functionality in areas where SAP is weak. A very common scenario is the SAP GL surrounded by Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft HR, G-Log for transportation management, Hyperion for consolidation of those GLs, and Demantra for demand planning -- all sitting on Oracle Fusion middleware and the Oracle Grid. Many SAP customers also use Agile and Siebel CRM On Demand.

InformationWeek: Some CIOs complain communication breaks down after an Oracle acquisition. How would you convince them Oracle's strategy is in their long-term interests?

Phillips: Most of our customers see the same sales rep post-acquisition because we simply fold in a specialized salesforce and tell them to keep doing what they've been doing. We've had very little turnover in the field as a result, and we've become the employer of choice in software. We maintain the continuity so we don't break relationships. The results over three years suggest we're connecting well with customers, very well. As time has gone on, customers are not only understanding what we're doing but encouraging us. They continue to suggest acquisition ideas for us, and I routinely get calls the day of acquisition congratulating us [for] helping them to further simplify their architecture. So opinions have changed.

I particularly like this answer:

InformationWeek: As a top Wall Street analyst, what would have scared you most about Oracle's acquisition binge?

Phillips: The stock is up 41% over the last 12 months. That usually assuages fears on Wall Street.

No Q&A about open source competitors which what I was hoping for. Still this is a good read. Check out the entire article: Q&A: Oracle's President Charles Phillips