James Governor's Monkchips

On The Advantage of Being Third Tier at Oracle OpenWorld, and the company’s Retail Business Intelligence Strategy

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Some people tell me RedMonk is a third tier analyst firm. That’s fair enough. It means I am a third tier analyst. Fair enough. I know my my worth, so the label doesn’t worry me. We’re tiny – only three guys- in a consolidating industry. I would certainly rather be in my position than work at a “top tier” firm such as Gartner or Forrester.

It can be a good thing to be somewhat off radar. I have come thousands of miles for this event, but I only have a couple of one-to-ones in the two days I am here.  Is that a bad thing?

Not at all. Often when I come to an event like this the analyst relations team has me swamped. Every minute of time is shepherded and managed and full of interactions with senior management. We tend to offer a lot of actionable advice to executives, which these firms appreciate. They want to maximise the feedback.

At OpenWorld today however I have been able to go to a couple of really good presentations by user organisations. So thanks very much to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (how to port a Peoplesoft application from mainframe DB2 to Oracle running on Linux) and City of Charlotte, North Carolina (rolling out user managed metadata using Oracle Warehouse Builder and Application Express).

I am now better educated on Oracle, which is why I am here, and particularly in how customers are using some of its tools.

I also had a really good briefing with a twofer – Oracle is bringing together its vertical domain expertise people with its datawarehousing group to offer more targeted tools to customers, in this case in retail environments. Thank you Sudip Majumder and Donald Rome. IBM and SAS may have some competition on their hands if Oracle continues to invest intelligently in this area. More embrace and extend is needed at the front end though (again, keep investing). It was particularly interesting to see Oracle building tools to discover non-obvious relationships to reduce retail fraud – which is quite similar to the IBM Entity Analytics capabilities, pioneered by IBM’s Jeff Jonas.

All in all I have had a good day so far, so thanks Ludovic for inviting me.


disclaimer: Oracle is not a client, but paid my travel and expenses to get here. IBM is a client. Jeff Jonas is in my pantheon of truly important thinkers on privacy.

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