The Oracle Decade

by Aaron Lazenby, August 2010

This past March, I celebrated my 10th year of working at Oracle—if your idea of “celebrating” includes hustling magazine copy for Profit. Which I do.

When I joined as a refugee from the dot-com world in the Year 2000, Oracle was a very different company. Our 40,000-plus workforce seemed to me like an unnavigable sea of Silicon Valley humanity—now Oracle has more than 100,000 employees. The launch of Oracle E-Business Suite set integrated applications as the paradigm for enterprise computing success—now many of our best-of-breed competitors are part of our portfolio. Oracle had no hardware business—now Sun completes our enterprise offering. And BMW ORACLE Racing had not yet won the America’s Cup.

But two of the most dramatic changes during my time at Oracle have been Applications Unlimited and Oracle’s Lifetime Support Policy. These offerings assured customers that Oracle development was committed to customer choice—through the continuous investment in and innovation of Oracle’s applications and continuous support for the same. In an industry built on pushing customers to upgrade, these are revolutionary notions.

Through my conversations with customers and Oracle executives alike, I’ve learned how well these programs have worked. Lyle Ekdahl, vice president of Oracle’s JD Edwards product line, recently told me that Oracle has completed 15 major product releases since JD Edwards joined Oracle as part of the acquisition of PeopleSoft in 2005. And in this issue of Profit, readers will find companies such as National Geographic that implemented Oracle software as long ago as 2003 and are still getting value from their systems.

I’m reflecting on these offerings at another critical juncture in Oracle’s history—if you’re reading this at Oracle OpenWorld, you’ve seen this firsthand. But when the launch events end and the volume level returns to normal, the principles of these two programs persist—Oracle moves at the speed you want to move and will support whatever IT strategy makes the most sense for your business. For some that means adopting early and getting the latest technology. Others will want to evolve systems incrementally—or not at all. The key is choice.

Speaking of Oracle OpenWorld, come by Moscone West and check out my Oracle OpenWorld Live show. I’ll be Webcasting reports and analysis about the big announcements at the show. Check for information about the broadcast on the Profit: Spare Change blog ( and on Twitter (@OracleProfit). And come by and help me properly celebrate my decade at Oracle.

See you in San Francisco,

Aaron Lazenby
Editor in chief, Profit
Oracle 1-800-633-0738