IT Innovation

Oracle Excellence Awards 2013

Oracle recognizes technology leaders who engineer innovation.

By David A. Kelly with additional reporting by Patty Waddington

January/February 2014

Oracle customers and partners are technology pioneers, leading the way in developing and implementing revolutionary new solutions and establishing fresh standards and best practices using Oracle technology. The Oracle Excellence Awards recognize customers and partners that drive business value together with Oracle. This year, the Oracle Excellence Awards include nine award programs that celebrate leadership, technology, enterprise sustainability, database administration, and more.


READ about the other winners

Leadership, Database Administrator of the Year, Java Business Innovation, Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized Partner of the Year, Data Warehouse Leader of the Year, Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation, Eco-Enterprise Innovation, Proactive Support: Champion

CIO of the Year | Japan
Takanori Yukishige
All Nippon Airways | Tokyo, Japan

Customers fly and airline succeeds with an IT transformation.


Any successful business must ensure ongoing customer satisfaction, respond to increased competition, and minimize costs. Running a successful airline in today’s economic climate requires all of those things, as well as the management of incredibly complex business operations and logistics. Yet, even with these challenges, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has steadily increased both its sales and profits, thanks in part to new IT systems based on Oracle technology.

“IT is essential for the success of our business. Operational control of aircraft and seat reservation systems are core parts of the airline infrastructure,” says Takanori Yukishige, ANA senior vice president, Innovation and IT Strategy, and winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for CIO of the Year—Japan.

Over the past few years, ANA has migrated from traditional mainframe-based solutions to an open systems solution based on a set of Oracle technologies. For example, ANA moved its core ticketing system off of a mainframe system to an x86 environment using Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle Service Bus to make critical systems globally accessible while significantly lowering management costs. Its on-premises ticketing system for domestic flights was deployed in February 2013, and the company is in the middle of development on a cloud-based system for international flights.

“Because ticketing is a core, mission-critical function, we always took a conservative approach, even if it took more time,” says Yukishige. “I believe this was an important part of making a smooth transition to our new system.”

We expect our ongoing partnership with Oracle will help us continue to transform our customer experience capabilities. ”–Takanori Yukishige,
senior vice president, Innovation and IT Strategy, All Nippon Airways

Even after its successful initial rollout, ANA had some concerns about whether the new domestic ticketing system would be able to cope with holidays and other periods when demand peaks. “In the end, our worries were unnecessary,” says Yukishige. “So far, the new system has performed flawlessly, even during the busy vacation periods.”

The new Oracle-based solutions are delivering more than just top-notch performance. Compared to its old mainframe-based systems, the lead time for changes or new applications has been greatly reduced, enabling ANA to rapidly develop new services in response to changing market needs.

Yukishige and his team have also initiated a transformation of ANA’s customer experience by deploying Oracle RightNow Cloud Service. “Today, changes in consumer expectations are causing big changes in the business world,” says Yukishige. “We are carefully watching how customers use mobile and social media, and we expect our ongoing partnership with Oracle will help us continue to transform our customer experience capabilities and support ANA’s future business challenges.”

CIO of the Year | North America
Judith A. Lemke
Schneider National | Green Bay, Wisconsin

IT transformation gives Schneider National a green light for growth.

There’s a saying that you can’t drive down the road and change your tires at the same time. But transportation and logistics leader Schneider National’s recent “on the road” business transformation provides evidence that you may be able to do just that—if you have the right business relationships.

“We literally replaced or re-platformed every piece of hardware and software we had within the company and in our trucks, because we had 20-plus-year-old technology driving our business,” says Judy Lemke, executive vice president and CIO at Schneider National and winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for CIO of the Year—North America. “The heart of everything we have now is based on Oracle technologies. With Oracle’s help we successfully went from 20-year-old technologies to cutting-edge solutions.”

Schneider National is one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in America, with about US$3.5 billion in annual revenues. The 78-year-old company was founded by one man with one truck; today it’s a massive organization with close to 10,000 trucks and 44,000 trailers and containers providing transportation and logistics services to customers around the world.

Schneider recently completed a six-year transformation process that altered everything from what business the company engaged in to how it conducted that business. Schneider completely replaced its aging and inflexible applications and IT systems with a new corporate and mobile infrastructure relying on Oracle solutions. At the same time, the company transformed its services to offer both regional and cross-country service, expanded the types of industries and customers it served, and realigned internally. Schneider used Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management and Oracle E-Business Suite applications, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and other technologies to redesign the fleet management systems at the heart of its business. While it took six years and US$250 million to roll out the entire program, ROI came much more quickly. “The program paid for itself in the first full year after implementation,” says Lemke.

Our new Oracle-based infrastructure sets us up to be able to grow and expand effectively. ”–Judith A. Lemke,
executive vice president and CIO, Schneider National

Not only is the new solution cost-effective, but it also gives Schneider a green light to grow. “Our new Oracle-based infrastructure sets us up to be able to grow and expand effectively,” says Lemke. “In the past, our growth had been partially constrained by our systems. Now we can grow and expand as we need to, and we have more flexibility than ever before.”

A key to Schneider’s success has been the company’s deep relationship with Oracle. “We hit some problems when we finally went live with our new transportation management system, but Oracle was right there with us, and we turned it around quickly,” concludes Lemke. “In the end, it really paid off.”

CIO of the Year | Latin America
Agenor Leão
Natura | Cajamar, Brazil

Technology enables growth in relationships and business for personal-care company.

With revenues of more than US$3.2 billion, Brazil’s Natura cosmetics and personal care company knows how to grow a business. But when it came time to create a more flexible IT infrastructure that could support future growth, Natura turned to Oracle.

“Oracle solutions provide us with greater agility as well as the scalability we need to accommodate our business growth,” says Agenor Leão, Digital Technologies vice president at Natura and winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for CIO of the Year—Latin America.

Natura is the largest manufacturer of cosmetics, toiletries, and beauty products in Brazil and a leader in direct selling. The company has almost 7,000 employees, as well as more than 1.5 million consultants who sell the company’s products to consumers.

As Natura grows, it needs to raise productivity, enable innovation, and continue to evolve its level of service. The company sees the intelligent use of technology as the way to achieve those business objectives.

“Our business is based on the relationships between our consultants and customers,” says Leão. “That’s why the evolution of our business is being driven by the use of technology to connect people, allowing us to understand the relationships of our consultants and customers and deliver innovative products and services.”

To do that, Natura is using a wide variety of Oracle hardware and software, including Oracle Exadata, Oracle Exalogic, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite, Oracle Database, and Oracle WebCenter and Oracle ATG Web Commerce applications.

“Oracle technology plays an important role in our structural initiatives,” says Leão. “Oracle products give us the speed we need to lead with solutions that increase business value.”

The evolution of our business is being driven by the use of technology to connect people. ”–Agenor Leão,
Digital Technologies vice president, Natura

For example, using Oracle technologies, Natura was able to roll out new social and commerce solutions quickly. “Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle ATG Web Commerce in the cloud made it possible for us to quickly launch new relationship and e-commerce portals,” says Leão. “We know we can trust Oracle products to help power Natura’s business growth and transformation. Oracle products enable us to deliver agile, robust, reliable, and scalable IT solutions for the business.”

For Natura, the right solutions are a blend of technology and service. “Oracle solutions are a good fit for our business not only because of their architecture, scalability, stability, and sturdiness, but also because they provide both on-premises and SaaS [software-as-a-service] options,” says Leão.

CIO of the Year | Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Gianluigi Castelli
Eni | Milan, Italy

Revolutionary IT changes are fuel for the future of giant energy company.

Sometimes incremental change is good. But not always.

Three years ago, Italian energy giant Eni determined that its business objectives required more-aggressive IT capabilities. With 7,000 physical servers, 54,000 CPUs, and hundreds of disparate applications, Eni needed a new IT hardware and software architecture that would be easier to manage and more efficient, resilient, and flexible. The company also needed something to enable future business growth across its many lines of business.

But instead of choosing incremental change, Eni’s CIO went big. “We didn’t need an evolution,” says Gianluigi Castelli, executive vice president and CIO at Eni. “We needed an IT revolution.”

As a result, Castelli, winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for CIO of the Year—Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and his team are driving a massive €160 million IT transformation program. Eni has totally re-engineered its IT infrastructure, from a new energy-efficient consolidated data center that uses 7,000 blades and a dynamic cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service platform to a consolidated set of applications running on the same platform. And Eni is relying on a core set of Oracle solutions, including Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and Oracle Customer Experience Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud applications.

Oracle solutions are so pervasive in our company that they’ve become a true backbone of our operations. ”–Gianluigi Castelli,
executive vice president and CIO, Eni

A complete IT makeover is no small feat for any large company, and Eni is one of the largest integrated energy companies in the world, operating in 90 countries with 78,000 employees and annual revenues of more than €110 billion.

As Eni rolled out its new IT architecture and applications, it quickly started to realize significant savings. “We’re saving a substantial amount of money,” says Castelli, “roughly €30 million a year on application management, licensing costs, and operations.”

Eni’s IT transformation program is also much more than a technical project. In order to succeed, there’s a complete cultural shift going on, not just within the IT organization but throughout the company. Castelli is leading the charge of moving IT out of the traditional internal client/supplier model toward a business/IT relationship that’s based on a full sharing of responsibility for achieving expected business results.

One of the keys to Eni’s successful IT transformation has been its close partnership with Oracle. “Oracle has always been very willing to work with us at multiple levels to help us achieve the best results,” says Castelli. “Oracle products are instrumental to achieving our goals. Oracle solutions are so pervasive in our company that they’ve become a true backbone of our operations.”

Next Steps

 Meet the winners


Photography byClem Onojeghuo,Unsplash