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Oracle Company Viability Review

Forbes has named Oracle as the single largest software company in the world and although it is unclear whether this takes into account the fact that Oracle is also a hardware and services provider, there can be no doubt as an organization it ‘outsizes’ the likes of Microsoft, IBM, and a whole host of other industry giants. With the 140K HCM customers accounting for just 37% of its wider client list, the scope and reach of Oracle as a global company becomes apparent.

However, with other, equally technologically-innovative vendors snapping at Oracle’s heels, development of new products such as Fusion is not enough and the company has largely maintained its market dominance through a comprehensive acquisition strategy. Put simply, Oracle buys innovation as well as nurtures it, supplementing its internal research and development with the adding of new technology through acquisition of competitor companies such as PeopleSoft, Siebel, Sun Microsystems, and RightNow Technologies.

Of course, company viability is not merely indicated by innovation or a position in the rankings and Oracle does face some challenges when it comes to marketing and spend attention. Certainly Oracle’s marketing appears to favour some products and services over others. One example being the fact that despite the industry-changing potential of the Fusion concept (of which payroll is a part) sales efforts seem to be focused on hardware (i.e. Exalogic, Exadata, and Exalytics). It would be easy to assume that Oracle’s marketing efforts are driven by some sort of internal competition as well as external. Likewise, many commentators and analysts have suggested that Oracle’s spend attention is similarly non-customer focused, with an unbalanced attention being paid to stakeholder requirements. Several articles in the industry press have noted that this appears particularly true in the case of customers of acquired companies (such as PeopleSoft and JD Edwards). It is important that Oracle find a way to reassure both current and prospective customers of their importance in the company’s decision-making.

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