APPSWORLD - Oracle CEO talks up application integration

SAN DIEGO (01/30/2004) - Citing the Global Credit Database as the "most interesting application in the world," Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison said his company used that database as the model to create its Customer Data Hub, introduced this week at the AppsWorld conference here in San Diego.

Ellison explained to the jam-packed auditorium at the San Diego Convention Center that the Global Credit Database (GCD) tracks every credit-worthy consumer in the world.

"Everyone who can get a credit card is in this database," said Ellison.

The GCD, in turn, is used by any business that sells things on credit, from street vendors and grocery stores to jewelry stores selling a US$25,000 Patek Philipe watch.

"It is the most remarkable system in the world. All the banks have their separate systems, but they connect real time to this credit database. It has created trillions of dollars of instantaneous credit," Ellison said, and then he quipped, "in exchange for no privacy, but it is instant credit.

"The model of the GCD is the model we followed for the Customer Data Hub," Ellison added.

Ellison used the remainder of his keynote to reiterate what had already been said about the Data Hub in previous presentations by Oracle executives. For example, in order to get a 360-degree view of a customer, data about the customer resides in more than the CRM system.

"A CRM system gives you a 360-degree view of your customer so long as your customer never pays you. That is kept track of by your old ERP system in the back office," said Ellison.

The goal of Oracle's E-Business Suite was always to give its users a single view of their customers by creating a single instance of the database, Ellison reminded the audience.

He added, "it would be nice to sell only Oracle applications, but that wasn't our goal. It was to give users a complete view of the customer by having all of the information residing in a single database. When I say single, I mean there may be multiple copies but it is the same database worldwide," he added.

The news at the show delivered by Ellison and others is that the Customer Data Hub is now application agnostic, or close to it, and will give users a global way of identifying and pulling a complete view of customers even if there exists more than the single instance of the database.

"Adopt Customer Data Hub, use Siebel for sales, and we have adapters in our middleware that allows you to connect your Siebel sales system to this single unified database. This is not a matter of periodically extracting information and dumping it into a data warehouse. This is a real-time connection," said Ellison.

Ellison was so intent in his message about the benefits of a single instance of the database that when the first audience member rose to ask a question and instead congratulated him on his recent wedding, Ellison responded by saying,

"Thank you. Moving to a single instance was much easier, and safer, too."

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