Oracle OpenWorld: a view from the cheap seats

While Sam Diaz and Mike Krigsman are slaving away in the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco at this year's Oracle OpenWorld I get the pleasure of observing from the comfort of my office in downtown Hicksville, Spain some 5,500 miles away. Once more, Oracle dropped the ball for us lowly bloggers but by the power of live video streaming, Twitter and eventtrack, I get to follow the nuanced action as seen by the crowd.

Beehive

While Sam Diaz and Mike Krigsman are slaving away in the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco at this year's Oracle OpenWorld I get the pleasure of observing from the comfort of my office in downtown Hicksville, Spain some 5,500 miles away. Once more, Oracle dropped the ball for us lowly bloggers but by the power of live video streaming, Twitter and eventtrack, I get to follow the nuanced action as seen by the crowd. It's not the same as being there of course but it does provide another view - one from the cheap seats.

Gartnerian Thomas Otter was in the audience and kicked off by making observations on the sartorial achievements of the speakers. I was impressed with the fact Oracle wheeled out Jan Muchez, KPN's CIO who gave a spirited defense of Oracles vertical market offerings in the telco space. And despite the now almost customary pops at SAP, credit should be given to Charles Phillips, Oracle's president for acknowledging the world doesn't start and stop at Redwood Shores but that Oracle needs to integrate with SAP and many other vendors. That's considerably more generous than the 'not invented here' attitude that pervades large parts of SAP.

David Haimes, who works for Oracle as a software director in financial applications was none too pleased with the much vaunted Oracle Beehive demo, declaring that the screens were hard to follow. I didn't think they looked too bad and the slideware was sufficiently clean for me to easily get the 'we are open' message. Though of course there's open and open. In Oracle land that usually means the mix of Windows, Linux and Mac they support and not open as in open source.

From Mike Gotta's notes on Beehive:

  • Integrated and secure
  • Built from scratch, new architecture
  • Collaboration server, communicate, coordinate, etc
  • Collaboration fragmentation - all apps come with their own databasem own admin, own security/identity, etc
  • Beehive integrates all of this
  • Rules, groups, preferences, centralized administration
  • Shot at SharePoint and number of servers you need to gain scale
  • Beehive integrates with WebCenter, Oracle Applications, and the rest of the Oracle infrastructure
  • Choice of clients to alleviate user experience issues
  • Unix or Linux
  • Co-existence with certain products such as Microsoft Exchange, Cisco Call Manager, etc
  • Includes development platform as well

Much more will be written about Beehive over the coming days but I suspect this is really a shot across the Microsoft Sharepoint and Exchange bows. Presenters Chuck Rozwat, EVP product development and Charles Phillips made particular point of comparing the reduction in number of servers that Beehive needs compared with Sharepoint and Exchange in similar environments.

During the keynote there was hardly any mention of the F-word - that's Fusion to you. That should not be a surprise as expectations in that area have been very low among my Irregular colleagues.

Over email, I asked Mike Krigsman to give a flavor of the 'buzz' which he assessed as relatively low key. Thomas Otter concluded with a digital shrug, declaring: "Digesting the keynote. Not a lot new really." A little earlier, Eddie Awad gave up the ghost assessing the NetApps guy to be at risk of speaking to empty seats and complaining about the spotty wifi.

Such is the fun of Twitter and the benefit of observing from the cheap seats.