Field Report: Highlights from Oracle OpenWorld 2017

Oracle OpenWorld logo

Michael Johnson, Principal and leader of our Technology Consulting practice recently attended Oracle OpenWorld 2017, one of the biggest tech conferences in the industry. Oracle’s flagship conference attracted over 60,000 people and was packed with keynotes, technical sessions, hands-on labs and demos. We sat down with Michael to learn about the emerging trends coming out of the conference and what these new developments mean for the future of business and technology.

Why did you attend Oracle OpenWorld?

My role as a technology practice leader is to help determine our strategic direction. A key component of that responsibility is understanding emerging technologies and how they are being used to improve operational efficiency. Oracle OpenWorld is one of the world’s premier technology conferences. It is attended by tens of thousands of customers and partners spanning 175 countries. Thought leaders from Oracle, their customers and partners are all there to share what is working and not working in the real world.

Were there any major trends or big announcements?

From the opening keynote through the many sessions, it was clear that Oracle is laser focused on the cloud. Oracle also made some big announcements, such as their Autonomous Database and Highly Automated Cyber Security, emphasizing the importance of using our technology to fight hackers.

These are the top trends that stood out to me:

  1. oracle cloud

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    Cloud – Digital transformation leveraging the cloud was by far the biggest trend this year. While Oracle is best known for its on-premise products, it is clear that they are now “all in” on the cloud. Oracle PLM Cloud continues to mature, including adding their process PLM offerings to the cloud roadmap and developing important synergies with their evolving Internet of Things (IoT) strategy and offerings.

  2. Customer Experience (CX) – CX was also a hot topic, as more and more companies are realizing their data can allow them to create more dynamic, personalized experiences for their growing base of customers.
  3. Machine Learning – Machine learning is the most revolutionary tech since the internet. One of the biggest announcements at this year’s conference was around Oracle’s 100% Self-Driving Autonomous Database driven by machine learning software. This new offering and approach toward Highly Automated Cyber Security focus on the needs and threats facing IT infrastructure today and tomorrow.
  4. Big Data analytics – While this concept has been around for years; the new benefits that big data analytics brings to the table, however, are speed and efficiency. Data drives innovation, so having the ability to work faster and stay agile, gives organizations a competitive edge they didn’t have before.
  5. Internet of Things (loT) – Oracle also provided more information on their Internet of Things offerings. Many companies are looking to benefit from IoT applications downstream, improving reliability and maintenance of equipment in the field, and that is part of Oracle’s focus.

What are some of the key takeaways?

We are in a new wave of technology evolution with business process automation driving operational efficiencies. The world is rapidly changing with innovation going faster than ever before as machine learning, cloud technology, integration and real-time analytics are all being deployed to achieve better results with less effort and lower costs.

Emerging growth companies are leveraging these technologies now to build and innovate business models. In fact, they are “leapfrogging” legacy companies who have not embraced these technologies. You would not build any new business with the technology currently in place for large, legacy enterprises.

Large enterprises are starting to experiment with cloud technology. They are deploying pilot projects to determine how they will fit in the overall business strategy. They are seeing great results and many enterprises are accelerating their adoption of cloud technologies.

How do you think these trends will affect your technology practice and your client’s operations?

We have already launched multiple cloud initiatives and we have partnerships with NetSuite, Oracle and Salesforce. We have also helped multiple companies move their existing infrastructure to scalable, fault tolerant and secure cloud environments. OpenWorld made it clear that we need to accelerate our involvement and expand our resource base of cloud-trained consultants.

For our clients, the message is very clear. Cloud and the related technologies are currently driving efficiencies. Market disrupters such as Amazon, Uber, Stripe and Netflix are just a few examples of companies that have already transformed and challenged existing legacy industries. Tech and innovation are accelerating faster than internal IT and there isn’t any industry that is immune to this shift. You must evaluate how these new technologies can help you scale and transform your business now AND in the future. Competitors are either coming, or are already there – do not fear the future of technology, embrace it!

Want to learn more about Oracle OpenWorld 2017? Watch on demand videos of the keynote presentations and session highlights here.

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