Enterprise IT needs Apple-like user experience

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.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

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.

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