Moving to a single suite of applications on a single database will enable enterprises to implement fundamental restructuring and potentially save billions of dollars, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison has claimed.
Oracle has spent five years consolidating its data and applications, and has since doubled profit margins to 40 per cent.
"That translates to a couple of billion dollars," Ellison said in a closed meeting including vnunet.com during a discussion following his keynote presentation at Oracle OpenWorld.
Although having a single database spares some of the IT budget, the bulk of the savings come from globalising the business, according to Ellison.
Because employees will for the first time be given access to the same data all over the world, Oracle has been able to move tasks like support, accounting and payroll to regions where it could find either cheaper or better skilled workers.
"This technologically enabled global reorganisation has been really beneficial," said Ellison.
Data consolidation was the major theme at this year's OpenWorld. In his keynote, Ellison referred to the single global database as "nirvana", because it promises finally to make available data that has traditionally been locked up in separate systems.
The case for data integration is simple, according to Ellison. Users can get information on current events anywhere in the world through a low cost internet connection. "But you have spent $700m on your business computer systems and you can't get basic business information," he said.
An emerging software category that Oracle calls 'data hubs' promises to solve the problem of dispersed data for companies that are not yet ready to move to a single global database.
In addition to the benefits of the data hub, Ellison claimed that Oracle is looking to take on the costs of IT systems. The plan is to eliminate the need for some third-party service providers by adding more functionality to Oracle products.
During the discussion, Ellison singled out storage software vendor Veritas. "If people feel they need to use Veritas with Oracle, that raises the costs," he said.
"We have to integrate that [storage] component, otherwise we don't get into the small and medium sized enterprise."
Ellison also predicted that Oracle will soon offer a business intelligence product to court SMEs. "We cannot compete against Microsoft without [our own business intelligence product]," he said, referring to the largest player in the SME market.
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