OpenWorld 2013 in Small Bites

Over 60 thousand people descended on San Francisco for a fabulous OpenWorld 2013, the largest Oracle conference in history. The energy in and around Moscone, on the streets, and in the hotel lobbies was absolutely palpable.

Best improvement of OpenWorld 2013 San Francisco – replacing the tents on Howard Street with table tops, couches, umbrellas, music, and keynotes and general sessions showing on big screens in the sky.  Attendees could enjoy the beautiful San Francisco weather and still get in on all that was going on in Hall D of Moscone North. An inspired upgrade!

Our applications strategy was clearly enunciated: Empowering Modern Business in the Cloud. We saw it on banners, on PowerPoint slides, and even on the sides of buses in San Francisco.  Oracle is in the Cloud. Our Applications Cloud powers thousands of modern businesses today, and will power many more in the future. Did you know that we have more than 300 Fusion HCM customers and 100 of them are live. We also have 300 Fusion CRM customers (100 live) and 50 Fusion ERP customers (20 live). Add to that more than 1400 active RightNow customers, 1200 active Eloqua customers, 900 active Taleo Enterprise customers, 4600 active Taleo Business Edition customers, and more than 700 active Taleo Learn customers.

Influencer Vinnie Mirchandani at Deal Architect wrote an article from OpenWorld called Oracle Cloud Apps: Slow and Steady. He highlighted the fact that Oracle cloud apps “are quietly on a $1 billion a year revenue run rate.” He attended a panel discussion of customers — many of them bought their apps before Oracle acquired the vendor and reported little disruption.

As a follow on to happy customers coming to Oracle through acquisitions, we heard unsolicited praise from this group about Oracle’s ability to adopt SaaS best practices from the acquisitions we’ve made. They  also are appreciative of the amount of R&D dollars that Oracle has invested in their roadmaps — a very positive change for them.

There were so many customers saying so many great things about Oracle Apps – in the hallways, on stage, in videos, in roundtable sessions, and on social media. To name a few: Laser Technology, Treasury Wine Estates, National Oilwell Varco, Standard Life, KPN, Southwest Airlines, Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Tesco, Lego, Chiro One, Newfield Exploration, Applico, Herbalife, Sako Oy, Cubis, American Career College, Altec, Elizabeth Arden, Panasonic, City Walk, Masdar, and Kamal Osman Jamjoom.

No doubt you’ve noticed that we are now referring to Fusion Applications as Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle ERP Cloud, and Oracle CX Cloud. Apps Development SVP Chris Leone explained the change to an audience during a Q&A session at OpenWorld. “Fusion Applications forms the baseline for what we’ve delivered in the cloud today,” he said.  We also made some strategic acquisitions to accelerate our time to market in certain areas. According to Leone, we’re not phasing out the Fusion Applications brand name, but rather, “we’re just trying to simplify what we’ve been doing.”

Oracle Group Vice President David Vap kicked off a popular Customer Experience keynote on Wednesday morning of OpenWorld. The main star of the show was the best customer experience portfolio in the world, which can handle the entire customer experience lifecycle and is cloud ready. Couple that with the fact that 91 percent of companies want to be considered a great customer experience leader, but only 38 percent describe their customer experience initiatives as formal and only 16 percent say they are advanced. That spells opportunity! And to bring the apps to life, Oracle customers Tesco and LEGO both talked about how they have successfully transformed their businesses to create modern customer experiences.

In an interview with CNN Money right before OpenWorld, Mark Hurd talked with Senior Editor Adam Lashinsky about our Cloud apps: “When you hear “cloud” and you gravitate to a perspective that everything should be cloud. We’ve tried to do something a little bit different architecturally. When the customer says, “I really want this,” we’ve built our solution so they can either use it as an online application from the Oracle cloud, or if they like the IP and don’t want it in the cloud, they can do it behind their firewall. Our message: Instead of worrying about the delivery architecture, worry about the application. Worry about the IP.”

In an October 1 post in the Human Resource Executive Online, Technology Columnist Bill Kutik says “Oracle’s best recruiting move was acquiring SelectMinds.” Oracle now calls it Social Sourcing and, according to Kutik, it “offers much of the functionality savvy recruiters crave.” He also complimented the Oracle Taleo feature that allows users to see their LinkedIn search results within the recruiting app – a big deal to recruiters who go back and forth between the two all day long. And Workday? V1 of its recruiting app won’t be ready until next year.

And while we’re on the subject of Workday, it recently announced it was moving to two releases per year, which spells a slower rate of innovation.  Compare that to Oracle’s commitment to a three-times-a-year release cycle — each release teeming with modernism.

This quote came from Holger Mueller, Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, in a blog post after attending OpenWorld: “We also had the chance to speak to a number of Oracle HCM Cloud customers–either implementing or being live running on Oracle Fusion HCM. The sheer number, their experience and commitment were  more positive than what we had expected based on the previously general available information and sentiment in the marketplace. It’s important for Oracle to see traction of its top of the stack products, the Oracle Cloud Applications, especially in an embattled marketplace like HCM.”

Besides our Cloud customers, who mainly gathered around HCM and CX Worlds, there were thousands of users who love PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel, and E-Business Suite. As Steve Miranda said, “There is no talk of stopping investments in these products because that would force satisfied customers to go through a competitive analysis – and that would be crazy on our part. These applications are not going away nor should they.”

Many of these customers asked “when should we move to the cloud?” Oracle answered “when a business need demands it.”  Co-existence is a great first step.

Watch highlights from all of this week’s Oracle conferences—on demand and at your convenience: http://www.oracle.com/openworld/live/on-demand/index.html#gensession

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