Google the words Oracle defies naysayers, and you'll find an interesting article that shows how Oracle has been able to confound expectations during a period of rapid mergers over the past few years. When Larry Ellison said that his company had an excellent chance of catching up with SAP, experts were pessimistic, saying that he'd picked a fight with a formidable competitor that was heavily favored to win. But for Oracle, expanding our applications and technology reach wasn't just about cutting another notch on the belt—it was about making a commitment to our customers that we will help them forgo the finger-pointing that many vendors expect from their customers.
Search the words Fusion applications strategy on the technology Web site the Register (theregister.co.uk), and you'll find another story, one with a more challenging view of Oracle's place in the market. A survey done by the Register's Reg Technology Panel notes that many Oracle customers are concerned about the path to Oracle Fusion and bewildered by the message that we're sending out to the market.
But even here, there's an encouraging message for Oracle. Among respondents who said that the Oracle Fusion story was well understood within their organizations, 78 percent said that they are completely confident that their investment is being protected. In simple terms, the most important thing for our customers to understand is that we have a path for all of them—those who want to be on the cutting edge and will take advantage of Oracle Fusion functionality as soon as it is available, and those who want to know that their current investments are safe and that they'll be able to set their own timetable for migration. It's up to us to make the connection between our strategy and our customers' success. And we at Oracle will redouble our efforts to make sure that we're communicating our story effectively to the people who need to hear it.
On a related note, this year marks Oracle's 30th anniversary, and we're planning to use the milestone not only to commemorate the events of the past 30 years but also to commit ourselves to the years ahead. In the next issue of Profit, we'll highlight the successes of the past, and we'll conduct executive interviews that offer insight into our future path. Look for events throughout the year that celebrate the anniversary and enlighten our customers—we'll keep you informed.
Margaret Terry Lindquist is editor in chief of Profit Magazine.