OpenWorld 2013: Oracle playing it safe with big data approach

Summary:Leaving the suspense out on the water at the America's Cup finals, Oracle didn't pack any surprising punches into its latest business strategy update.

SAN FRANCISCO -- After CEO Larry Ellison ran through the updates to the hardware giant's database portfolio on Sunday evening, Oracle president Mark Hurd picked up the baton early on Monday morning by outlining the latest draft of the tech giant's business strategy.

Unsurprisingly, the overarching theme is big data. 

And maybe even more unsurprisingly, Oracle didn't reveal much of its new game plan. All the surprises look like they're being saved for the America's Cup finals on the San Francisco Bay this afternoon.

Instead, Oracle executives focused on refreshing the keynote audience about its existing hardware and software solutions (some of which were introduced amid OpenWorld last year) used to target big data opportunities -- not to mention trotting out executives from its vast customer network, including Airbus, Thomson Reuters, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Based on Hurd's keynote, Oracle is focusing further on applying analytics primarily on strengthening its customer relationship management resources.

Looking at the trends driving IT rather than these numbers, Hurd said flatly, "I'm not gonna tell you how big it's going to be. It's just going to be big."

In providing a base for that strategy, Hurd cited internal research that there were nine billion connected devices on the planet as of 2012, specifying that those were devices attached to "humans," meaning personal devices like smartphones and PCs.

With the explosion of those devices as well as integrated connectivity on cars and other M2M products, Hurd continued that the forecast is that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Those figures are concur with plenty of other forecasts, among those from Intel and Cisco .

The byproduct (if it can be called that) is data. Hurd cited more research that 90 percent of data in existence was created within the last two years. That same forecast expects the world's data will grow 50 times over by 2020.

Looking at the trends driving IT rather than these numbers, Hurd said flatly, "I'm not gonna tell you how big it's going to be. It's just going to be big." 

Hurd highlighted mobile and social business as the two top trends driving information technology right now. But more specifically, he lectured as to how these two trends are making customers more "sophisticated."

Hurd acknowledged that the problem for many businesses is that they need to identify "one integrated view" of that customer while also managing legacy apps and ballooning amounts of data.

Thus, Hurd declared that Oracle's current strategy is focused balancing efficiency and innovation around customer experience.

Topics: Enterprise 2.0, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Oracle

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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