Oracle CEO attacks fragmented applications
Oracle's CEO, Larry Ellison, used his keynote speech at 'Oracle AppsWorld Europe' to attack the traditional approach of putting departmental functionality first. He points out that building applications to suit specific departments has led to an "overwhelming problem" of data fragmentation and incomplete business automation.
"Every time another application is added," Ellison said, "data is further fragmented. All we can see is the trees and really not the forest."
Ellison opened his speech to European and Middle Eastern Oracle applications users with the question: "What is it about spending billions on automating businesses that continues to deny CEOs the information that comes out of these systems?"
His view is that the whole industry should start thinking about information first, instead of focussing on an array of separate departmental needs and functionality.
Backward industry The whole applications industry, he asserts, has developed with an inverted point of view, selling ideal systems for specific automation tasks instead of asking "what information is the most important?" and "what information does the company care about most?"
The most important information is - as any CRM professional will tell you - data about the customer.
Illustrating his point, Ellison cited the industry-wide promise that CRM would provide a 360-degree view of the customer. "It's a fascinating claim but CRM can never, by definition, give you a 360-degree view," Ellison stated. "CRM systems do not bill customers; CRM systems do not know whether a customer has bought or paid. That's a billing and accounting system."
Oracle's focus He highlighted two key benefits of Oracle's own applications suite: lower costs and reliable business information. The centralisation of data means the elimination of disparate data sources, which leads to cost savings and purer information.
Ellison also emphasised the increasingly important role that information plays in business, concluding: "The 'I' in CIO stands for Information. Modern systems will focus on information, and not the technology underneath."