I attended company president Mark Hurd's speech this morning at Oracle's Financial Services Forum here in New York. Two main themes emerged in his opening remarks.
First, financial companies should be mindful of global growth opportunities, especially in a group of seven countries he called the E7 (I assume the "E" is for "emerging.") Those countries: China, India, Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico and Turkey.
"There's a big change in where wealth is going to be," Hurd said. "If you were hanging around high income countries like this one for the past 20 to 25 years, you're probably in a good place. But in the future, if you want to be somewhere interesting, try the E7."
Second, enterprise mobile strategies are going to become more important, Hurd believes. He noted two stats: the number of mobile workers accessing enterprise systems worldwide topped the 1 billion mark in 2010; and the number of connected phones in the world will surpass the number of people in the world in about a year. Seventy-five percent of US workers are expected to be remote by 2013, he added.
Both Hurd and Frank Brienzi, the SVP and GM of Oracle Financial Services, also touted the company's commitment to R&D, for which it has budgeted $12 billion over the past four years.
"We have focused on integrating products so that they work together, either with the Oracle stack or with legacy systems," Brienzi said. "We spend probably 50% of R&D money on integration of data and systems."
After Hurd's opening remarks, the floor was opened up for Q&A.
…with the open nature of [US] society, our information systems reflect the society. It's in the very nature of innovation going on right now with mobile marketing. For example, if someone says to you, 'Why don't we throw some innovation around our e-commerce site? Why don't we integrate our e-commerce site with some social networking site?' I can tell you, in some cases for companies, 90 to 95 percent of the attacks that they get emanate from two places: an e-commerce site or a social networking site. That very nature of these secular trends are simultaneously bringing growth opportunities for all of us that we have to pursue are actually simultaneously increasing the vulnerability that we have. And so for us, it's very important that we not only bring you an encrypted database, but give you a series of tools in our security suite that help you secure that data. So you're going to see a tremendous amount of energy from us around the security space.
On cloud computing:
When customers complain, we come up with these one-word answers that will fix any problem they have. This was virtualization some time back. Last year and a half it's cloud. Lack of innovation? Cloud. Costs? Cloud. There's no computers, no software, it's just magic! Somewhere there has to be stuff, and it's better when the stuff scales and works. The backbone [for cloud solutions] is often Oracle databases and Oracle solution sets. [Cloud] will affect the server world for sure, and the storage world very dramatically. We've convinced the industry to lay out all this storage, but this offers a lot of consolidation. What customers pay for in terms of integration, we do in R&D.
On customer relationships:
Everything isn't about everything being vertically integrated at every turn. We are comfortable operating in a non-Oracle environment if that's what the customer chooses. The leverage of the stack when it can bring that kind of exponential performance is an existential advantage. … [The sales and contracting process] is a big issue for us. I don't know that we call it a sales issue. I think we have a very good sales force. Do we have many people touching deals? Probably. There's a number of people who touch deals when you're in a big company and we have to go through the process. We have a strategy that we try to be easy to do business with and it doesn't come along in those conversations. But you have the commitment to try and get that done.
Matt Gunn, over at our sister brand, Bank Systems and Technology some more quotes from Hurd.