Enterprise IT needs Apple-like user experience

Enterprise IT needs Apple-like user experience

Summary: Integrating hardware and software will help provide a more consistent user experience for businesses and end users, and this is something Oracle hopes to provide for its customers.


Being a one-stop IT shop spanning the breadth of hardware and software helps Oracle stay innovative and better positioned to meet customer needs by providing the optimal user experience.

Kevin Walsh, CTO for Oracle's Asia research and development (R&D) department, said if a company's backend IT is quick and simple for administrators to manage and scale, this would help provide a great experience for all frontend users. This, in turn, would mean companies benefit by having productive employees, satisfied clients and attract top talent, he noted.

This is why user experience is the end game for today's enterprise IT space, Walsh said during a media briefing Tuesday. Citing Apple as an example, he said its success of iTunes, iPhone and iPad boils down to the entire and consistent experience people have since come to expect with using the company's software and hardware.

"What Apple did for the consumer's experience, Oracle wants to do for the enterprise," the executive said.

By comparison, companies that build their IT systems by procuring components from various vendors will find their user experience dampened. This is because time and money will be unnecessarily wasted on backend maintenance "nightmares" when they can be spent on improving the usability of the technology, he said.

No compromise
Walsh also responded to SAP's co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe's claim that all-purpose IT vendors such as Oracle tend to lose their nimbleness and innovative edge as their focus gets spread too thinly, noting that the opposite is true.

The goal of catering to a customer's entire spectrum of IT needs--including servers, storage, software and services--does not have to result in compromises, he stated.

The CTO said: "We have a brain trust of the best hardware, database and application people under one roof sitting side by side, all with the same goal: [to help] customers get their own competitive advantage with IT."

Kaleem Chaudhry, senior director of enterprise technology at Oracle Asia-Pacific, who sat in on the same interview as Walsh, added that Oracle's customers need not worry over vendor lock-in should they stick to the company for all their IT needs. This is due to the company's commitment to using open standards to develop its products, thus ensuring interoperability, he noted.

Walsh added because Oracle is based on open source programs, customers are not tied to using its systems. "You can use Oracle's Exadata to run someone else's ERP (enterprise resource planning), for instance," he said.

He reiterated that Oracle's one-stop-shop approach is "cleaner, faster and cheaper", which over time will pay customers back in terms of providing value to the business using IT rather than simply ensuring the backend systems stay functional.

Topics: Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Software, Oracle

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

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  • No, actually we don't.

    Why is Apple even mentioned in comparison to Enterprise IT? Apple did such a great job with it's MAPs app that we should all follow their model and introduce incomplete products and services. If IT has a failure they can apologize and recommend a 3rd party support group...maybe end-users can call the Geek Squad? Please...what we need is writers that stop comparing everything to Apple. They do some things good but they also fail.
  • iSheep are worse than a zombie invasion

    IT department needing Apple? Sounds pretty fail to me. iSheep are popping up everywhere now.
    Dominic Giallombardo
  • She's not saying that IT needs Apple or that Apple is perfect

    It's very true. Enterprise and specialized applications are often littered with UI inconsistencies and generally difficult to use controls, meanin that people using them spend more time trying to navigate the application rather than doing their jobs. When it comes to Apple, they do UIs really well. The general consensus is that Apple has an easy to use interface that is consistent across each of its platforms, so moving from one to another presents little or no learning curve. Does this mean IT departments should ditch their current hardware and go Apple? No, but other vendors should take hints from Apple's designs and make their hardware/software function to enterprise employees more like how Apple devices function in the hands of end users: easily, effortlessly and consistently.