Now that we have safely returned from lovely San Francisco and have dealt with most of the Post Oracle OpenWorld Stress, it is high time for summarizing remarks. Actually, there was indeed a big difference – as predicted – between Oracle OpenWorld and’s DreamForce, just two weeks before.

Marc Benioff manages – like no one else – to get his business clients on stage and testify about their successes with his solutions.  Furthermore, the key message of transforming towards the ‘social enterprise’ permeates all sessions in a single, consistent way.

It proves that first and foremost is an excellent marketing company.

Oracle is not.

Its obvious – and proud – roots are in technology and although the big Exa-everything machines this time did not physically feature on main stage, the bulk of non-Oracle keynote slots was for technology and system integration partners, with many deep-dive sessions featuring topics such as ‘Simplify Node Management with Policy-Managed Clusters, exploring the Grid Plug and Play feature of clusterware technology in Oracle’s Database Grid Infrastructure feature’.

Let’s face it: Oracle OpenWorld is mainly relevant to technologists, developers, CIO’s and sales people. So what if you were a business executive, lost in translation amidst that crowd of 50K technology-savvy Oracle connoisseurs? How to interpret some of the main announcements that frequently invoked a mild, supportive applause from the audience?

Fear not, we have put together a small translation guide that may help you to make business sense out of Larry Ellison’s OpenWorld musings:

1. “We bring you Infrastructure as a Service”. From now on, you can move essentially any IT component running in your own data centre to ours. As we optimize the use of high-performance technology (such as Exadata, Exalogic, SuperCluster, Infiniband.. oh well, forget that), we can do it more cost-effective and with a higher quality than you can do it yourself. Sooner or later, you can close your data centre and move everything to our Oracle Cloud. It will liberate you.

2. “Our new Private Cloud is a natural extension of the Oracle Cloud”.  Of course, for now you don’t want to close your data centre. There are many good reasons why you want keep a part of your IT safely on your own premises (besides, it’s fun having a shiny infrastructure, especially ours). We can set it up for you, like it’s already outside in the Oracle Cloud, but it’s still there at your place. We own the hardware and software and you pay a monthly subscription. It’s that simple. So you start to reap the benefits of the cloud – like cost-effectiveness, flexibility, scalability and Opex instead of Capex – and still keep that Private feel. And if you’re ready to move to the public cloud outside (more benefits, to be quite honest), everything stays the same. Except the bill, probably.

 3. “12C is the world’s first multi-tenancy database”.  OK, that’s scary, admitted. It really means that in the future more software solutions will be delivered from the cloud (hence the ‘C’ in 12C) and many organizations will be renting the same solution (hence ‘multi-tenancy’). Our database is optimized to make sure that no data of one organization is ever entangled with the data of other organizations. Your safety is our prime concern. So if you consider new software solutions in the near future, ask the provider if he is using our 12C database.

4. “The new Exadata X3 consists of 26 terabytes of DRAM and Smart Flash, creating a full in-memory database system in one single rack”. Essentially we provide a much faster, much more powerful database with unchanged costs. Anybody for price/performance?

5. “We have the biggest applications portfolio, all based on Java and Fusion Middleware”. Well, sort of. Indeed, we have developed and acquired the most versatile applications catalogue in the world. And if all of these applications run on the same technology platform (ours), you don’t need to integrate and connect them anymore yourself. Saves a lot of time and money and you can focus on your business issues, instead of trying to glue it all together. In the meantime, it’s a bit of a work in progress right now: not all of our solutions might already be entirely based on one and the same platform. The good news: we don’t intend to acquire much more in the near future. Probably.