Ellison: Oracle Leverages the Internet for CRM

Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison pronounced his vision of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) at the Spring Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) conference in San Diego on Tuesday night.

"CRM includes marketing, unassisted electronic selling, telephone selling, all working together and being able to know what leads turn into purchases. The key thing is that all of these pieces have to work together," says Ellison. And working together means utilizing the Internet.

Never at a loss for words, the Oracle chief outlined what a "colossal mistake" the client/server era has been and how the Internet can be utilized to centralize corporate data instead of "scattering" it among numerous databases throughout the world.

Ellison says by using the Internet model, suddenly customer relations is easier because much of the work is done by the customers themselves. Employees don't fill out purchase orders. Customers do it when they input the correct information via their browser. VPs don't request reports because those reports are automatically generated by the centralized data from the Internet.

Not letting Microsoft have all the fun, Ellison also took his shots at ERP vendors Tuesday night, although he still admits the market is alive and kicking. "There's a great deal of frustration from companies who've implemented ERP systems and have gotten little return from them," says Ellison. "Baan has a client/server service offering and they're missing huge pieces...We can tell you what your return on investment in a marketing campaign is, Seybold can't...SAP just proudly announced they completed their switch to be completely client/server. No," Ellison retorts with apparent disdain.

Continuing his "Internet Changes Everything" campaign, Ellison says all that's needed to run Oracle's CRM system is a few servers, that are connected to centralized databases, and can run the applications as well as store the data so that clients only need a Web browser.

"No fuss, no muss. Stop dividing and sub-dividing your databases into smaller and smaller units. No one cares about distributing databases," Ellison expounds. "They care about distributing information. The whole Internet model is fascinating. Suddenly everyone can open up their browser and get what they need." -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.