by Aaron Lazenby and Margaret Terry Lindquist; additional editing by Marta Bright, May 2007
Charles Phillips was a familiar face around Oracle long before he became the company's president. At Morgan Stanley, Phillips was one of the first to recognize the critical role that Oracle's technology would play in global business enterprises. Since joining the company and becoming president in 2004, he has taken on responsibility for global field operations and corporate strategy. He spoke with Profit about the explosion of innovation in the product areas and how Oracle will surpass expectations during the next 30 years.
PROFIT: Oracle has experienced great success over the past 30 years—why do you think that is?
PHILLIPS: Oracle is focused on simple goals: innovation and results. We're not afraid to make a change and not wedded to the way we did it last year. We're in a dynamic market, and that suits us well since our competitors can't change as fast.
PROFIT: How would you describe Oracle's culture?
PHILLIPS: It's a meritocracy. People are impressed by results and respect performance. That's healthy for any organization. It attracts high performers and keeps great leaders.
PROFIT: How would you characterize trends in IT spending, and how is Oracle adjusting to that climate?
PHILLIPS: The economy is not getting stronger, that's for sure. But we are taking share. The environment could be healthier but with the wealth of products we have, we should continue to outgrow the industry.
PROFIT: What's the most exciting thing happening with products right now—first on the technology side?
PHILLIPS: I'm excited that so many of our applications are uptaking our Oracle Fusion Middleware products. We are just beginning to show the power of having an applications company inside a technology company. We are advancing manageability, performance, and security like no other company can because of our unique business mix. I also think the security and content management products are compelling. Every customer that I've told about Oracle Database Vault [an option to Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Enterprise Edition] and Oracle Audit Vault [a standalone product] immediately leans forward and wants to know more.
PROFIT: And for the applications products? With Oracle Fusion in the relatively near future and five applications launches happening this spring, you must be getting a sense of how functionality is starting to converge.