In what was a short but powerful post on LinkedIn, Fortune Magazine’s Sr. Editor at Large Adam Lashinsky posed a very interesting question; Who is Oracle’s True Competition?
It wasn’t that the question in and of itself was ground-shaking journalism but, the reason or reasons behind his asking the question in the first place.
During his interview with “one of Oracle’s two presidents” Mark Hurd, Lashinsky was somewhat confused by the dismissive response he received when he asked about “Salesforce.com and Workday, nipping at Oracle’s ankles from below.” Specifically, Hurd’s clear focus on big competitors such as SAP and IBM, as opposed to the companies that represent “the disruptive forces threatening to eat Oracle’s lunch?”
Lashinsky then concluded by asking for reader feedback as to whether or not Hurd is “obscuring rational analysis by focusing on the companies that look more like Oracle.” In layman’s terminology is Hurd, like Nero playing the fiddle as Rome burns, delusional?
While there are many snappy-phases that come to mind such as “absolute power corrupts absolutely” (in the case of Hurd it is his view of the competitor landscape that has been corrupted) or, “pride cometh before the fall,” one thing is certain; Oracle is likely out of touch with the market.
There are of course many potential reasons for this assessment of the Oracle skew as I will call it. However, and as far as I am concerned, my response to Lashinsky is probably the one that is on the money. Here it is;
While http://wp.me/p4HrB-3wU).should be concerned, the reality is simply this . . . as long as industry journalists/analysts such as continue to publish rose-colored reports that ignore the realities of the company’s failings they have no reason to change or acknowledge – at least publicly – the emergence of these more innovative players (
Additional reference material; Madison Avenue ooops . . . make that Gartner, names Oracle as a leader in supply chain planning (http://wp.me/p4HrB-1Z3).
Now that you know my opinion, what’s yours?