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Oracle: Engineered For Success

Introduction

Picture a world in which there are no computers. A world in which there is limited technology and everything functions by the hands of man and early machines. This is a time in which is not too far back into mans history. Beginning in the eighteenth century, the Industrial Revolution brought man major changes in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transportation, and technology. But it wasnt until the 19th century that man would see the birth of computers in technology. From the point in which the first computer was invented in 1936 by Konrad Zuse, advancements rapidly began to take place. By 1954 John Backus and IBM invented the first successful high level programming language (Bellis, About.com). Soon after that invention followed the developments of professional and personal computers that were capable of computing complex figures and storing enormous amounts of information. The birth of computers has certainly brought forth the Technological Revolution in which the world exists today. Now computers possess capabilities hardly imaginable to their birth date. Given such rapid advancements in recent years, it is exciting to imagine where the future of computer technology is taking us. In the realm of operations management lays one company that has already made its mark in history and plans on continuing to bring business efficiency into the future. That company is Oracle.

About Oracle: Hardware and Software Systems

Oracle is a multinational computer technology corporation that was developed in 1979 by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oats. The company develops and sells everything from hardware systems to enterprise software products but is primarily known for its database management systems. Oracle offers enterprise resource planning software as well as customer relationship management software and supply chain management software (Oracle.com, 2011). In the book, Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, by Kenneth Laudon and Jane Laudon (2010), a database is defined as, A group of related files (p. 630). However, what Oracle offers in their databases is much more than that. They are highly advanced management systems that perform with outstanding accuracy, readiness, functionality, and resilience. Oracles middleware computer software can loosely be defined as software that sits in between different kinds of application software that work on different operating systems (p. 205). This kind of software allows for different programs that speak different programming languages to talk with one another in order to operate together seamlessly. As of 2009, Oracle is number one in middleware (Oracle.com). Kenneth and Jane Laudon define application software simply as, Programs written for a specific application to perform functions specified by end users (p. 626). The applications Oracle offers are not so plainly explained. They can be anywhere between simple to highly complex applications that are all industry leading products. Servers can be explained as both the software applications and the physical computer on which the network software runs (p. 194). The kinds of servers and storage solutions that Oracle provides have the technology to combine data so that the

information can be integrated with the companys applications (p.189). Storage systems or storage technology can be defined as, physical media and software governing the storage and organization of data for use in an information system (p.638). Servers offered by Oracle and other companies of its kind are extremely valuable to businesses because they have the potential to significantly reduce center costs. According to Lauden and Lauden, Servers have lower power, cooling, and space requirements (Page 189). Since one of the basic functions of operations management is reducing business costs, one can see how beneficial servers, especially from Oracle can be. Oracle offers one of technologies most cutting edge predictive modeling programs, Crystal Ball. Crystal Ball is an application based product that is constructed from a sophisticated spreadsheet. Crystal Ball was specifically created for forecasting, simulating and optimizing data. Oracle has created a product that is excellent at demonstrating important elements that affect risk. Even with the most unpredictable market conditions Crystal Ball allows its operator to select the best possible decision to successfully tackle goals while also achieving a competitive advantage. Oracles Crystal Ball starts with a, Base package for predictive modeling, Monte Carlo simulation and forecasting (Oracle.com). This product can be enriched by adding Oracles Crystal Ball Decision Optimizer. This addition will increase the speed of simulations and forecasting as well as increasing the proficiencies of the optimization. An academically aimed product is also available for Crystal Ball. This product is more affordable according to Oracle and is a fully functional version of their Enterprise based Crystal Ball and Crystal Ball Decision Optimizer (Oracle.com).

Oracle also offers one of the newest forms of computer technology, cloud computing. In Thabiso Mochikos article, Mobile cloud computing on the horizon, he discusses the benefits and future of cloud computing. He defines cloud computing as, An internet-based consumption and delivery model for future IT services the shifting of data, services and hardware from, for instance, a company's premises or dedicated data center, onto an external platform, often shared, and accessed via the internet (para 3). This kind of technology is sure to be transformational. No longer will computers require programs and applications to be purchased and saved to individual computers. Clouds that host data and computer functions will make current forms of storage and program ownership obsolete. This technology will reduce costs for businesses and increase flexibility to the traditional IT model. In an article in Information Weekly, The Real Deal on Oracles Enhanced Coverage Linking, author Chris Murphy discusses cloud computing and the desire for such a product. He says, Cloud computing and CRM both certainly qualify as hot technology categories. Cloud computing showed up as the No. 2 technology priority for IT managers, in a recent survey by the Society for Information Management (para 6). This technology is not only desired because it the last must have technology, but because it will mean saving time and money for companies regardless of the industry. Oracle is one of the first companies out there to offer the in demand product/service. This only further demonstrates Oracles ability to be a leader in operations management.

Oracles Proven Success

Over the years Oracle has proven time and time again through its achievements that it is a leader in computer technology. Priding themselves on innovation, they were one of the first companies to make its business applications available through the internet. They were also the first to, Develop and deploy 100 percent internet-enabled enterprise software across its entire product line: database, business applications, application development, and decision support tools (Oracle.com). The company has had many great successes in every area that it pursues. In fact, they pride themselves on being the gold standard for database technology and applications in enterprises. According to Oracle.com they are, The world's leading supplier of information management software and the world's second largest independent software company. Oracle proves to be the best in the industry by delivering record-breaking performance, simplified management, and cost-saving efficiencies. The company offers many different products and services in which serve every industry thinkable. They are the best at what they do, and they save many companies vast amounts of money every year with their technology. Their success is so great their technology can be found in every company that appears on the Fortune Global 100.

Significance of Oracle

Oracle and companies like it are extremely important to the advancement of computer technology as well as the direction in which technology will take the world. Over the years, the world has seen the drastic impacts technology has had on how the world operates. For instance, take the internet. Authors Tom Hayes and Michael Malone

of the book, No Size Fits All, explain the impacts of the internet on the world of business. They say, The internet provides a giant mass of data that must be analyzed to try and make sense of what is happening at any given moment. Having lots of simultaneous and largely unfiltered information is often less informative and more confusing (p. 67). For many companies, the internet and all of its information presents opportunities. However, the key is to make sense of all the information the internet has to offer. Software and technology that Oracle has to offer are absolutely crucial to maximizing the opportunities the internet has to offer rather than getting lost in the information. Oracle provides organization and tools to decipher the data to make it all meaningful and useful. Not only does Oracle help with organizing data into useful information, it helps turn that information into cost reducing decisions and profit gaining decisions. Hayes and Malone explain that, Computers and telecommunication made it possible for companies to be more adaptive, edgeless, empowering and entered into much deeper and more integrated strategic partnerships with supplier distributors (p. 243). This is a perfect demonstration of how using available information and software technology offered by Oracle can increase strategies geared toward better decision making stemming from management science.

Oracle: Assisting Industries in Success

Since its birth in 1979, Oracle has had much success and stretched far away from its origin in Silicon Valley, California. Oracle now prides itself on serving businesses across the world and in twenty-three different industries. In each industry Oracle provides

its own industry leading software and technology to aid each company it serves in achieving success and satisfaction.

Travel & Transportation (Airports, Airlines, Hospitality, Ports) To meet all business challenges in the travel and transportation industries, Oracle offers Oracle's Solutions, which, Deliver a powerful combination of technology and comprehensive, pre-integrated business applications, including key functionality built specifically for travel and transportation enterprises (Oracle.com). Oracle offers the software technology needed for this industry to be more flexible and manage peaks in seasons and troughs in demand. Oracle offers the tools for the travel and transportation industries to be most effective. 10 of the 10 top hotels get better results with Oracle. 4 of the 5 top ports get better results with Oracle. (Oracle.com) Chemicals According to Oracle.com, With globalization, consolidation, and commoditization, chemical companies must achieve growth through differentiation, combat downward pressures on margins, and optimize global supply chains. Oracle demonstrates that they can provide the best tools for chemical companies to compete in such a globalized industry. They have the best, In-class tools for transportation management, demand management, and legacy system integration. These technologies help differentiate products and services, lower operating costs, and maximize profitability (Oracle.com).

5 of the top 10 global chemical companies run Oracle applications 8 of the top 12 high performance chemical companies run Oracle applications 2,700 chemical companies run Oracle technology 780 chemical companies run Oracle applications Only Oracle offers chemical specific product development integrated to marketing and manufacturing Only Oracle offers unique inventory and transportation integration across all modes and geographies Only Oracle offers the most complete suite of standards based tools for integrating and leveraging legacy systems (Oracle.com)

Healthcare Oracle is the number one leader in Healthcare. In the healthcare industry, Oracle provides complete, end-to-end solutions to support the best practices and decrease costs. Oracle offers healthcare-specific applications that, Help ensure quality care and decrease patient safety concerns through the integration of clinical data and the ability to analyze patient-specific information (Oracle.com). Integrated solution capable of aggregating clinical data meaningfully across disparate systems and creating detailed, holistic views of the healthcare enterprise Complete, standards-based, semantically interoperable HIE solution Comprehensive, fully integrated talent solutionfrom recruitment to succession planning Single set of controls for enterprise access and compliance management across contracting and finance Integrated enterprise solution for secure provider collaboration and proud supporter of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative Retail Oracle knows that to keep profits up and continue a trend of growth, retailers must provide the superior experiences consumers are demanding and align them with smarter internal decisions and processes. Oracle is excellent at providing the tools for the retail industry to do so. Oracles products empower retailers to, Improve performance, gain

critical insights, and fuel profitable growth across traditional, mobile, and online commerce channels (Oracle.com). Oracle also helps retailers to optimize operations. They offer an Integrated combination of business applications and server and storage solutionssupported by expert implementation specialists and a worldwide partner ecosystem (Oracle.com).

5,000 retailers across all industry segments, spanning 68 countries, use Oracle 26 Oracle solutions for retail are rated best-in-class by analysts Oracle's retail experts have 30 years of experience developing and implementing retail software for the worlds retail leadersincluding large and mid-sized companies 20 of the top 20 global retailers run Oracle 20 of the top 20 global grocers run Oracle 10 of the top 10 global fashion retailers run Oracle 10 of the top 10 top hardline retailers run Oracle

Those were only four of the twenty-three industries in which Oracles successful products have aided businesses in success and changed the world of business. Regardless of which industry Oracle provides products and services to, the story is always the same, success and satisfaction. Oracle has proven itself and will continue to do so for many years to come.

The Future For Oracle

In just over thirty years, Oracle has transformed the world of business and brought it into the future of computer technology with successful practices of management science. Although Oracle has achieved so much in its time, the company has yet to reach its prime. The future of technology opens the door to endless possibilities for a company like Oracle with its rich resources and innovative minds. One thing is for certain, Oracle

will continue to meet its expectations and always strive to achieve customer satisfaction. Founder Larry Ellison answers the question of Oracles direction by saying,

What does Oracle have in store for tomorrow? We will provide our customers with hardware and software engineered to work togetherintegrated from the disk to applications software- that meet their business needs and solve their business problems. And we will continue to innovate and to lead the industry, while always making sure that we focus on solving the problems of the customers that rely on our technology. (para 6, Oracle.com)

The company is also taking the lead in one of technologies newest innovations, the cloud. The current demand and ongoing popularity of products like cellphones, tablets, and other wireless devices has brought forth a market for cloud computing. Thabiso Mochikos article on cloud computing, Mobile cloud computing on the horizon, describes the demand for such technology and the opportunity it presents for companies like Oracle. He says, Although cloud computing has been touted as the next big thing for the past five or six years, it needed a critical mass of desktop users for it to take off in the developed world and so allow companies to take advantage of the benefits (para 5). The time has finally arrived for such a product to have a place in the world market. Roelof Louw, a cloud computing expert at TSystems in SA, agrees with Thabiso Mochikos thoughts and says, the proliferation of mobile devices and applications has changed the way people buy and use business services today (para 7). In which case, a new demand has emerged for technology to adapt to better serve the explosive numbers of mobile wireless device users. Mochiko states in his article that, More than 240-million business customers will access cloud-computing services via mobile devices by 2015 - according to Juniper

Research (para 8). These are huge numbers which indicate mass potential for software companies like Oracle.

Cloud computing is beneficial for Oracle because it creates a new product and satisfies a new market. However, it is also beneficial for businesses all across the board regardless of industry. Mochiko uses an example of Google Docs to illustrate one benefit of cloud computing. He says, Instead of having Word software installed on your personal computer, you access it via a browser when you require it. This would allow for Decrease in costs - mainly technology infrastructure costs - as well as increased capacity and flexibility (para 9).

To best summarize the future direction of Oracle, Mochiko quotes Gartner who says, Multinationals Oracle, IBM and SAP all have major initiatives to deliver a broader range of cloud services over the next two years. As Microsoft and other big players continue to expand their cloud offerings, users will see competition heat up and enterprise-level cloud services increase (para 19). Since Oracle has already proven its success in all other areas, products, and services it offers, cloud computing will be the next area it will focus its attention on. This new expanse in technology offers a huge market and a huge payoff for Oracle if it can continue its success in this area.

Oracle is already offering cloud computing technology and services with its Cloud Application Foundation. It is a fundamental part of their Fusion Middleware product family. Oracle also continues to provide, Innovative new capabilities for building, deploying and running Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE)

applications (Oracle.com). Another cloud product of Oracles, WebLogic Server 12c, helps customers in lowering their cost of ownership. Customers are able to, Derive more value from their current application infrastructure, while accelerating the development cycle and reducing time-to-market for their applications (Oracle.com). These are just some of the latest products Oracle has come out with in order to compete in the cloud market. They have acted quickly to emerge into the latest area of technology and thus will have an advantage over future emerging companies. Although they will continue competing with companies like IBM and Microsoft, their past success and reputation combined with their innovative superiority will lead them into the future and continue their legacy of success.

References

Bellis, M. (2011). The History of Computers. About.Com. http://inventors.about.com/library/blcoindex.htm Hayes, T., Malone, M. (2009). No Size Fits All. Penguin Group, New York.

Laudon K., Laudon J. (2010). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm. Pearson Education, Inc, New Jersey.

Mochiko, T. (2011). Mobile Cloud Computing on The Horizon. Business Day: South Africa, Nov.4, 2011. http://0www.lexisnexis.com.library.uor.edu/hottopics/lnacademic/ Murphy, C. (2011). The Real Deal on Oracles RightNow Deal. Information Week, Nov. 7,2011. http://0-www.lexisnexis.com.library.uor.edu/hottopics/lnacademic

Oracle http://www.oracle.com/index.html