Social networking shouldn't be just "a marketing application" but should instead be the underlying technology for other cloud applications, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said in his Tuesday keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld.
In an obvious dig at Salesforce.com and other competing vendors with social networking products, Ellison in his speech hammered home the point that Oracle's Social Relationship Management Platform provides social networking capabilities across all of the vendor's Fusion software-as-a-service applications.
"I'm going to emphasize one thing about our Social Relationship Management technology," Ellison said. "We didn't implement it as a suite of separate applications. We implemented it not at the application layer; we implemented our social technology at the platform layer. It's a platform -- it's not just a marketing application.
"Social is built into all of our Fusion apps," he continued. "That means every application you build inherits the benefits of social technology. This is a big difference between us and other [vendors] in our approach to social."
Oracle rival Salesforce.com offers Chatter, a social networking service designed for use by businesses. In June Microsoft acquired Yammer, a developer of business-focused social networking applications, for $1.2 billion.
Some of the components of the Social Relationship Management Platform were previously available. In his keynote, Ellison demonstrated the platform's new ability to collect and analyze huge volumes of data. Some of that capability came from the Endeca technology for analyzing unstructured data Oracle acquired one year ago.
"This is sophisticated technology for processing big data," Ellison said
Ellison devoted much of his keynote to recapping the advantages of Oracle's Fusion cloud applications, noting that they are based on the same underlying Fusion Middleware and Oracle Database technology that customers already use to run other Oracle applications and their own custom software.
"Your applications and our SaaS applications run on a very powerful platform that we share," Ellison said.
He also noted that the Fusion applications were built on industry standards like Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and have built-in business analytics and social networking capabilities, and they can be accessed via the Web and through mobile devices.
Oracle now has about 400 customers running the company's Fusion ERP, CRM and Human Capital Management applications, Ellison said, with about two-thirds of those running in Oracle's public cloud service. The remaining one-third are either running the apps in their own data center or hosted on dedicated servers running in an Oracle data center.
Fusion application users include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, UBS, Overstock.com, Elizabeth Arden, Red Robin, Key Energy Services and Brocade.
The hour-long keynote had its lighter moments. At one point Ellison showed a slide with lots of small text. "You can tell I make my own slides," he said to laughter. "This is an essay," he said, looking up at the screen. "We should print it out and hand it out to everybody."
PUBLISHED OCT. 2, 2012