Thoughts on OpenWorld, Insurance IT and Data Warehousing

It's been a bit since my last foray into the blogging world, but I wanted to offer up some scatter shooting around Oracle OpenWorld, BI/Data warehousing, Insurance IT and of course the big hospitality party.  Enjoy...

On Oracle OpenWorld...

The big conference is finally behind us and I think I can speak for most when I say it was enlightening, fun and tiring.  From an Oracle perspective, I took away the fact that the Insurance Global Business Unit (IGBU) is full steam ahead as we keep moving forward with innovative insurance solutions.  I must have met 30+ carriers that were excited about what Oracle had to offer in Insurance.  When you combine Oracle's technology stack with the IGBU's industry-specific knowledge and applications it becomes an unbeatable combination.  Oh yea, Aerosmith was pretty cool too.  More on that later...

On Insurance IT...

I'm seeing a renaissance in the IT groups of the industry.  As 2010 fast approaches, it seems that more and more insurance IT shops are embracing change to help the insurance business.  Better analysis tools; faster, more comprehensive admin choices; and new architectures are bringing the industry out of its mainframe haze and into a modern SOA revolution of sorts.  Several carriers have undertaken transformation projects and are becoming nimble and smarter all while saving on their IT-specific infrastructure and growing their business. 

On Warehousing...

I never grow tired talking about this subject.  I had conversations with at least 15 different carriers that have active, ongoing projects around warehousing and/or BI.   They helped validate our hybrid approach to warehousing as most of them are sold on a solid, middle-tier relational data layer that can be used to source any number of analytic capabilities, whether they be cubes, data marts, spatial, mining, etc.   These insurers are also sold on the capabilities of a tool like Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), providing connectivity to any number of source systems and allowing connections between the sources in a business model layer.  The power of a tool like OBIEE and a consolidated industry-specific model is immense.  The combination allows carriers to be flexible and implement different sources at different times with different budgets. 

Finally, with the release of Exadata 2 there are multiple advantages to buying a full Oracle warehousing stack:  Cost savings, less disk usage, energy savings, tremendous increases in speed and vertical content all on the same infrastructure.  As we move forward within the vertical we will look to add innovative pre-packaged solutions across lines of business on the Exadata platform. 

On The Hospitality Party...

Great show.  Aerosmith played much longer than I thought they would and Three Dog Night still has a great set list.  And finally, no one (and I mean no one) should ever have a session the morning after the big party where drinks come easy and the bands don't stop playing until 1:15 a.m..  Or was it 3:15 a.m.?  I was still on Central Time.  Despite the timing, the insurance data warehousing session was interactive with alert attendees and great interest. Thanks to all for making it that morning! (View Oracle OpenWorld on-demand content here: http://www.oracle.com/us/openworld/index.htm)

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