Oracle (Finally) Learning and Applying Its Own CRM
According to the company's press release in June, Oracle Corporation,
a provider of database and software for business applications, announced
Oracle Applications World, a premiere applications conference for Oracle
E-Business Applications customers, partners and prospects. The first conference
will be held from February 20-23, 2001 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Additionally,
the first European Oracle Applications World conference will take place
in the Spring of 2001.
Applications World will provide executives and users from customers, prospects,
and partner organizations an innovative forum to discuss e-business strategies
and how to best leverage the Oracle E-Business Suite to expand markets,
strengthen relationships with customers and increase business efficiency.
Oracle Applications World is expected to be the largest applications event
in the company's history, with attendance likely to reach 12,000.
Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ellison will headline the conference event which
will offer over 250 breakout sessions including product sessions on the
E-Business Suite, where executives can learn about product functionality
including specifics on customer relationship management, Internet procurement,
supply chain, and B2B exchange platform solutions. Future directions for
upcoming versions, vertical applications, support, education and partnerships
will also be discussed. Industry thought leaders will host sessions addressing
vertical industry content, directions and trends. Already more than 250
exhibitors have signed up to participate. Platinum sponsors of the conference
are Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte
Applications World will also be available online. Broadcast on Oracle's
E-Business Network, participants can attend the conference virtually.
Select tracks and sessions will be broadcast on the E-Business Network
Business channel, and keynotes will be available through streaming video
on the Webstyle channel.
are extremely excited to be hosting our own world-class applications event,"
said Mark Jarvis, senior vice president, Oracle Worldwide Marketing. "Oracle
Applications World will give the public and our customers a chance to
meet with us directly to discuss and share information about our E-Business
Suite and implementation experiences. Oracle's own success in reaching
the goal to save a billion dollars by using our own e-business software
helps us understand what our customers need as they transition into e-businesses."
agenda for the first Oracle Applications World event is expected to include:
keynote presentations from top Oracle Applications executives including,
Ron Wohl, executive vice president, Oracle Applications, and Mark Barrenechea,
senior vice president, Oracle CRM Products division, other leading industry
visionaries; sessions on new Oracle products and a window to the latest
e-business trends; education and technical presentations from Oracle experts;
a comprehensive customer track providing real world know-how from current
Oracle customers; high-value courses presented by Oracle University; over
150 product demonstrations staffed by Oracle and industry experts; and
over 200 of Oracle's most strategic partners demonstrating the latest
in e-business innovations.
It is amazing how much has changed in Oracle's applications business during
the last two years. Oracle is indisputably the most reformed applications
vendor, having achieved significant growth in total revenue, license revenue
and net income during the above-mentioned period. Oracle has recently
been addressing past issues like improvement of relationships with its
systems integration and technology partners, some of whom remain wary
and at arm's length owing to Oracle's direct competition with them. That
the latest Oracle earnings showed only a modest increase in its consulting
revenue might be an indication of Oracle's fairer treatment of its consulting
strained relationship with its customers and independent user group (OAUG)
has also been publicized in the past. Oracle's move to host its own user
conference is a logical, evolutionary move. While it initially regarded
its applications business only as an ancillary diversification to its
main database business, its deals have often been sealed owing to its
energetic, testosterone-charged sales force. Many customers have afterwards
felt somewhat deceived and left on their own after a 'one-implementation
stand' experience. OAUG was formed as a self-protective move by users.
Times have drastically changed, and applications are now the driving force
of the company's business. At the same time, Oracle has relied significantly
less on its direct sales force, since customers can purchase its products
through a number of additional channels, including the Internet.
an aspirant for the applications market throne without being in control
of its users association would be a daunting undertaking. The company
that claims to be the leader in the CRM market would be hard pressed to
explain how it does not listen more closely to its customers' voices.
All involved parties seem to be winners in this case. However, those who
stand to benefit the most from this announcement are existing Oracle customers.
They should now have the opportunity to attend three annual U.S. conferences
and at least two European ones. For users, the new conference means more
possibilities to gain knowledge about Oracle and its partners' offerings.
The OAUG conferences provide invaluable, independent forums for users
to discuss issues and share experiences with peers. The Oracle-run conference
will give them an additional opportunity to see products, hear company
vision, and talk to Oracle partners.
on the other hand will be given the opportunity to finally show a strong
commitment to its large customer base and form a firm bond with them.
Moreover, one should not forget about the opportunity of attracting new,
potential users. To that end, online conference proceedings availability
may prove to be a very bright and considerate idea. We advise anybody
with an interest in Oracle's products and/or in the business applications
market in general, to make use of this inexpensive education opportunity.