CW-05-01-Feature-In The News Oracle

Oracle Corp.’s recently completed consolidation to a single, global system for enterprise data took five years, Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison told OpenWorld attendees during his keynote address at Oracle’s recent user conference being held in San Francisco.

“It was a very long and arduous task to go to a single global instance,” he said. Ellison acknowledged that if it took Oracle half a decade to streamline systems using its own products, customers are also likely to face a lengthy and daunting process.

He touted Oracle’s data hub technology as the solution: By virtually aggregating their data, customers can take advantage of a shortcut to the benefits of centralized access to company information, Ellison said.

“We used to have several hundred financial systems. Now we have one. It’s much cheaper operating one,” he said. “The cost benefits won’t come from a hub, but the informational benefits will.”

Those cost benefits have been substantial at Oracle, Ellison said in a later discussion with reporters. Oracle’s gross profit margin will reach 40 per cent this year, he said, up from about 20 per cent in the late 1990s. He attributed the increase to Oracle’s internal work to connect its systems and streamline procedures.

Much of Ellison’s keynote was a reprise of his speech at Oracle’s last AppsWorld conference, in San Diego in January. As he did then, Ellison praised a global credit database created by worldwide banks as “the most interesting application in the world,” and hailed it as an example of a data hub with far-reaching influence.

“It changed our economy. It’s not just our government that can spend more money than we have. Each and every one of us can do the same thing,” he said, drawing laughter from the standing-room-only crowd. 040367 Stacy Cowley IDG News Service/New York Bureau

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