Oracle grows applications and pursues Big Data

23rd Sep 2011

Market watchers might still be wondering about the prospects for Oracle’s hardware push, but the firm reckons that its traditional applications and database markets are doing quite nicely.

In the quarter just ended, Oracle reported applications growth of 23 to $428 million with Europe said to be particularly strong.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison interprets this in part as a validation in the market for the new generation of Fusion applications which have yet to enter general release.
“We've been working on Fusion Apps for almost 6 years now, and we have about 200 customers using Fusion Apps,” he says. “We're going - before the end of this calendar year to have general availability on Fusion. We have a number of wins against not only SAP using Fusion, but some of the newer competitors like Workday using Fusion where people has compared our user interface to their user interface, our SaaS offering to their SaaS offering, our Cloud infrastructure to their Cloud infrastructure.
“We think it's very important that we're out in the market now, not only with our traditional applications, which will continue to support for years to come, but also an all new generation of Fusion Applications, something that SAP, our largest applications competitor, doesn't have. We think that, that gives us a huge advantage going forward.”
Oracle President Mark Hurd adds that the existing non-Fusion applications portfolio continues to perform well.  “We had a very good quarter across when you would think of as the traditional application base,” he says. “I'm staring at a lot of numbers and none of them stand out. They're all good. They're all growth numbers. It’s pretty broad-based across ERP and EPM and CRM and so forth as well as the vertical applications.
“I think when you have to add to Larry's point is we're the only company now with a series of traditional apps but also bringing online our SaaS cloud apps. We are in the market aggressively with HCM today. We released that in Q4. We have teams dedicated to growing our Cloud business. We are doing the same thing now in CRM. You will see us very aggressively in the market focused on those 2 segments as we move into Q2.”
Penchant for Big Data
Another trend that the firm expects to pursue vigorously is the penchant for Big Data which Ellison argues plays to Oracle’s origins as a pure database firm, something that is now a long way behind it. “Oracle hasn't been just an RDBMS for about 20 years,” he argues.
“A long time ago, after relational databases came out, there was a next-generation [of] databases that were called object databases. And everyone talked about, ‘Well, object databases are going to replace relational databases’. What actually happened is that object database capabilities got integrated into the Oracle Database.
“So Oracle seized just the relational database. It became a relational and object database. And then there were these things called text databases for text search, and those were separate databases. And Oracle then incorporated text search and text capability into the Oracle Database. And then there were these things called XML databases and separate XML databases. Then Oracle integrated XML capability into it.”
Now that database evolution has extended into the Big Data space courtesy of the Hadoop open source project. “After Hadoop finishes filtering the data, the place you want to put that data is an Oracle Database, and that's what a lot of our customers are doing,” says Ellison. “We are exploiting the trend, the big data technology and the big data trend by building a Hadoop appliance that attaches to the Oracle Exadata database or any Oracle Database for that matter.
“But you don't have to buy our Hadoop appliance if you can use whatever servers you want running Hadoop, and we provide the interface between Hadoop and the Oracle Database. The idea is you should be able to put all of your data regardless of data type into the Oracle Database where it can be stored securely and reliably. And you could search it and get answers to your questions very quickly.”

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