November 22nd, 2010


Oracle is the new IBM

I'm not best suited as a news writer. As well as telling you what the news is, I want to be giving my interpretation of what it means and why it's happening - really, it's much more like comment and analysis.

I got to do both for a change when I reported on what Mark Hurd had to say at FireGlobal; the first time I've heard him speak since leaving HP and joining Oracle.

Here's the news: Hurd Oracle's future strategy is integration
And here's two pieces discussing what the news means and filling in extra details that didn't fit in the news piece: Can vertical integration solve more enterprise problems than virtualisation and More from Mark Hurd apps matter, apps are hard work and cloud isn't magic.

There's a sense in which I think he's drunk the entire bottle of Kool-Aid; and there's a sense in which a company wants a new president to be aligned with its culture and direction, so it may not be fair to criticise what sounds rather like trash-talking the value of the direction he took his old company in. Hurd's departure from HP, Larry Ellison's criticism of the HP board and hiring of Hurd, the bitter lawsuit between Oracle and SAP (whose business Oracle is obviously gunning for with the vertical integration plans) and the fallout from Oracle's decisions over the technology it bought from Sun - that all comes under my definition of 'debacle' and it's tempting to read some of Hurd's comments as barbed. But there's some cogent criticism in there too, even if I doubt very much if anyone really wants to go back to the days of the single supplier with no incentive to innovate.