I wanted to hold off on the rush of "hot off the press" news about OpenWorld in the hopes of sharing my opinions after processing my thoughts for a few days. Needed to some time to get past the buzz of the show and the disappointment of parting with dear friends again. Also needed a few days to get over the embarrassment of not recognizing Latin on one of my presentation slides (forget the memory lapse…me, the lawyer, unable to recognize Latin…humiliating). So after a few days of processing time, here's what I think on the major highlights of the event:
The Exadata machine is really cool to look at…great looking hardware with a pretty sexy light array. And the performance is beyond impressive. Fast, reliable, with enough power in a small configuration to run email for most of the world. But as an apps guy, it just doesn't excite me much. And, looking from the perspective of a small or medium size business, the cost is probably way out of my league. Maybe it will get more traction with SMB as a deployed system for hosting cloud-based services, but that remains to be seen. So the resurrection of big iron isn't really doing much for me personally.
OK, cloud-in-a-box (aka the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Clound) is pretty interesting from a pure geek point of view. Like the integration of WebLogic and Coherence on an Exadata hardware configuration. But when I get down to practicality for most of us…well, see my thoughts on Exadata.
Interesting that Oracle has decided to take their own development fork on Linux (Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel). I really like the idea of a Linux distro specifically tailored for Oracle products. Can't wait to see the performance benchmarks here.
But, on the flip side, this also sounds like a step toward a proprietary distribution and a step away from open source. Yes, a Red Hat - based distro will continue to be offered by Oracle. Still worries me a bit. We'll see how it plays out.
Rimini Street's announcement that they're entering the Oracle E-Business Support market was really interesting to me. First, I think competition is good for buyers…the value for your dollar spent typically increases during periods of competition. This probably won't be any different. Second, I'll be interesting to see how Rimini Street's model for EBS support unfolds in light of the fact that EBS is an Oracle "home grown" application product line.
The curtains were finally pulled back on Fusion Applications, with general availability planned for the first quarter of 2011. While both the OpenWorld keynotes short-changed Fusion Apps in terms of allotted time, the individual Fusion Apps sessions were packed with functional and technical information. In particular, the Financial, Project Portfolio Management and Human Capital Management suites are pretty appealing. A strong user experience, industry standards - based integration, and dissolution of the divide between transactions and business intelligence all make for a pretty powerful combination. I especially see significant opportunities for incremental uptake in parallel with other ERP applications.
I'll write more on the latter two subjects here once I recover from my usual post-OOW letdown. In the meantime, share your highlights…hit the comments.