Rumours of the death of the database industry are greatly exaggerated as far as Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison is concerned.
Speaking at the NationsBanc Montgomery Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco yesterday, Ellison said that the financial chaos in the database sector in recent weeks will pass.
?The idea that the industry is saturated is a very bizarre notion. The database business is very solid,? he said. "Oracle comes in with a bad quarter, and you'll hear lots of reasons why, but it had less to do with demand size, and more to do with our execution."
Oracle?s stock price crashed in December when it reported lower than expected second quarter results which included database growth of just 3 per cent. But this is set to change, according to Ellison.
?We think we're going to have a very strong quarter,? he said, predicting that North American database sales could rise about 25per cent in the company?s third quarter ended 28 February.
?There's a 50 per cent chance it will be below that and a 50 per cent chance that it will be above that, but that's my forecast.?
Ellison took the blame for the recent Oracle shortfall, claiming that he had underestimated how long it would take to implement Oracle8 and associated technologies, particularly tools following the cancellation of the Sedona project.
In a remarkable admission, he also conceded that Oracle had got ahead of itself in promoting network computing.
"It is a considerable part of the problem that we faced," he admitted. "We started selling something that we didn't have. It took a lot longer than we thought. It was a self-inflicted wound."
He added: "The corporate NC is technologically incomplete. It is a pure Java machine and it is suffering from problems we are having with Java."
But he insisted that there were now products to support the network computer vision. "If your telephone breaks, you buy a new one. If your television breaks, you buy a new one. If your PC breaks, you lose your data," he said, highlighting what he said was the danger of PCs. We can't risk having our data existing on desktop PCs, where it can be lost," he said. "We take it and put it on servers."
Ellison also announced a partnership with Intel as part of which the two companies would work together to build a server that Ellison describes as 'pure Oracle'.
"All this server does is run Oracle 8," he explained, promising that the first of such devices would be ready by the middle of this year.
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