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October 3, 2017

Gap & FedEx guest star on The Late Show with Mark Hurd

Chat show king or Oracle CEO?

By Ellie Burns

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd put on his best David Letterman performance at his Openworld opening keynote, sat behind an Oracle branded desk with an inviting couch for VIP guest stars to his right.

As with all good talk shows, Hurd kicked off with a monologue; the Oracle chief took the audience through an overview of current macroeconomics, cloud strategy and company objectives. Of course, it would not have been a very good monologue without mention of the cloud and Hurd highlighted the significant expansion of Oracle Cloud with some top line numbers – Oracle has rolled-out 3,500+ SaaS services and 125+ PaaS services in the past five years.

“It’s important to have great apps, but great apps that work together, the most complete suite of PaaS services and the next generation of infrastructure as a service that all work together to complement each other,” Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. “That’s what we’ve built out, and that’s what we now have.”

Following strategy Hurd took a comedic turn, highlighting how CTO Larry Ellison has a reputation of giving the game away on new products with a compilation video of Ellison jumping the gun at previous Openworlds. Hurd even borrowed from current talk show king Jimmy Kimmel and did an Oracle version of Mean Tweets.

However, the centrepiece of Hurd’s keynote address came as he concluded his monologue, with the CEO looking into his enterprise crystal ball and predicting that by 2025:

  • 100% of application development and testing will be conducted in the cloud.
  • 80% of production apps will be in the cloud.
  • 80% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services.
  • 80% of IT budgets will be spent on business innovation, and only 20% on system maintenance.
  • All enterprise data will be stored in the cloud.
  • Enterprise clouds will be the most secure place for IT processing.

Then is was guest star time – Ceasers Entertainment via video spoke of the benefits of Oracle Cloud, while Chris Wood from Fedex joined Hurd on stage to talk about his company’s relationship with Oracle and the firm’s journey to cloud.

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“We are trying to figure out ways to deliver more functionality and to support what we need to do with the business and be more nimble, but at the same time, reduce our costs,” said Wood, Vice President, Business Services & Transformation at FedEx Services. “And Oracle Cloud is a big part of that.”

The Gap CIO, Paul Chapman, proved to be quite the A-list guest for Hurd, with the clothing giant having recently deployed Oracle Retail Cloud Services. A long-standing customer of Oracle, Chapman spoke about how the Retail Cloud syncs end-to-end merchandising operations from buying to inventory valuation. Talking about how the adoption of Oracle Cloud has helped drive operational efficiencies and empower the business teams behind the GAP-owned INTERMIX brand, Chapman said:

“This investment marks the first step on a journey to adopting cloud technology across our global operations. We chose Oracle Retail Cloud Services to synchronize our global initiatives and deliver state of the art functionality to INTERMIX.”

“The INTERMIX team is inspired by the potential of the solutions. They look forward to new capabilities and insights delivered by the Oracle Retail solutions.”

“Over the last six months, my team worked closely with the Oracle Retail Development, Solution Management and Consulting teams to deploy the solution from strategic planning to go-live,” said the CIO.

Hurd’s opening keynote was a complete contrast from Larry Ellison’s opener at OpenWorld – there was no mention of AWS or aggressive statements about how Oracle is so much better than the competition, instead Hurd used customers as proof that Oracle is a genuine cloud player these days. From ERP and EPM, to Supply Chain and retail, Hurd offered customer stories as the proof to Ellison’s bold claims and aggressive statements.

There was however no talk about new products, and Oracle has released new offerings already this OpenWorld – this may fall to Ellison or Thomas Kurian in keynotes later in the week. It will be interesting to see however if Ellison adds to Hurd’s video gaffs compilation with a surprise announcement during his next keynote.

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