UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) president, Debra Lilley, has called for a meeting with Oracle president Mark Hurd at this year’s Oracle Open World (OOW) in San Francisco, which would be the first ever meeting between the two.
Hurd took up his position at Oracle in late 2010 after stepping down as chief executive of HP.
Lilley told Computerworld UK that she would like to meet Hurd ahead of any announcements made at OOW this year, something that ex-Oracle president Charles Phillips used to arrange regularly.
She said: “As User Group president I want to understand the messages that will be given at OOW to be able to reiterate to our members and answer any questions. I am hoping that Oracle will arrange a user group briefing before it starts, something that Charles Phillips was very good at.”
“Last year Mark Hurd did meet with a few user group leaders and I am hoping that this will be repeated this year and that UKOUG will be included.”
The UKOUG is one of the largest in the international user group community, having been established for over 25 years, with more than 8,000 member contacts.
“I want to hear how last year’s announcements have progressed - Exalytics, Exalogic and most importantly the cloud offerings. I am also very interested in how the customer base is responding to Fusion Apps in general availability,” said Lilley.
“I predicted that the release of Fusion Apps would be a window for Fusion Middleware and result in many new Fusion Middleware projects. I want to see if I was right.”
Lilly also said that although “hardware is an important part of the Oracle story”, she doesn’t want to hear about it “at the expense of the rest of [Oracle’s] portfolio, especially applications”.
In addition, Lilley told Computerworld UK that she hopes Oracle will deliver keynotes at OOW that contain “real content” and less competitor baiting, which she describes as “not helpful” and “uncomfortable to listen to”.
Last year, Salesforce.com chairmen and CEO Marc Benioff riled Oracle CEO Larry Ellison by criticising his keynote over Twitter. This resulted in Ellison cancelling Benioff’s keynote at the event, a slot that Salesforce.com paid $1 million for.
"Larry just cancelled my keynote tomorrow!" Benioff Tweeted, inviting people to join him at a local restaurant instead. "Beware of the false cloud," he added. In another message on Twitter, Benioff said "The show must go on! Sorry Larry!"
Benioff also sent a message to Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, saying that he looked forward to seeing him and hearing him talk at Dell World. "OK, please don't cancel me like #oow11."
Benioff had re-tweeted a number of comments critical of Oracle and Ellison’s keynote speech. He also holds that Salesforce is a real "cloud" company while Oracle is not.
Computerworld UK interviewed Hurd earlier this year, where he pledged to “make it easier” for customers to do business with the company. The comments were in response to complaints about the complexity of Oracle contract negotiations and licensing.
He said: “We want to eliminate every barrier we can do making it hard for customers to do business with us. We have no objective other than to help our customers. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”