Can Oracle and its partners keep up with the increasing demands of customers for real-time digital capabilities? Is the Oracle constellation of solutions—from data analytics to enterprise applications—ready for the burgeoning requirements of the Internet of Things (IoT) and data-driven businesses? For Oracle—along with its far-flung network of software vendors, integrators, and partners—times have never been so challenging.
Enterprises are working overtime to address market requirements and fend off disruptors, while technology providers are working hard to keep up with these enterprises. Things are moving quickly for all levels of Oracle partners as they race to keep pace with their customers. How has Oracle been progressing on these fronts? “Speaking from public sector, we were ahead of Oracle years ago,” said Patricia Dues, president of the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG). “We moved into mobility and data warehousing before Oracle had any products to support us. Now, Oracle is a viable technology provider for these areas and appears to be moving to the leading edge.”
As a result of these shifts, the entire database ecosystem “has had to rapidly embrace a new way of doing business,” said Rod Hamlin, vice president of global alliances and strategic partnerships with Redis Labs. “Not only are new applications demanding the price/performance gains of this new database technology, but old legacy applications must be migrated over to compete with the response times expected by today’s consumers.”
For systems integrators, this means “evolving our priorities to meet and to stay ahead of Oracle customers as they make their moves to become digital enterprises through adoption of technologies such as cloud, big data analytics, mobile, and the adoption of IoT,” said Sunder Singh, global head of Tata Consultancy Services’ Oracle Practice.
There is also an ever-expanding range of choices for enterprises, requiring constant research and strategic choices to be made among vendors within the ecosystem. Ajay Khanna, vice president of product marketing at Reltio, said it all requires a “polyglot persistence strategy that utilizes the strengths of different storage types.” Along with a range of commercial products are “many new technology options, including Apache open source projects like Hadoop, Spark, and others like NoSQL, deep learning, and in-memory processing,” he said. “Data-driven applications built on modern data management platforms use a combination of technologies to attain big data scale for omnichannel interactions and transactions, flexible data models for agility, graphs to manage relationships, and in-memory and Spark for analytics. The right information in the right storage provides the right insights.”
As these choices proliferate, enterprise customers are looking to the Oracle ecosystem for solutions that address opportunities in big data, the cloud, and the real-time enterprise.
Nowhere is the shift to a hypercompetitive global marketplace more evident than in the challenge of managing data itself, especially as it transforms into big data. “New generations of Oracle databases are becoming adept at storing and analyzing unstructured as well as structured data,” said Singh. Big data solutions, of course, are an important piece of the Oracle ecosystem—especially when they integrate well with existing traditional data types. “The players that have been able to make their unstructured data talk to and truly inform their traditional data streams are the ones who are easily outcompeting their peers,” agreed Bob Selfridge, CEO and founder of TMMData. “Making this happen—and, ideally, automating the marriage of structured and unstructured data—is the holy grail of data analysis and often requires custom solutions for bridging the gaps between ETL and BI platforms.”
Perceptions about big data across the Oracle ecosystem have also evolved over time. “Big data has created an awareness in the technology community of just how valuable the data that we are collecting is, and how much we can do with it,” said Dues. “It has spread awareness to those in the business arena, and is generating innovative and productive business solutions.” Not only are business decision makers getting more involved with data management, but there’s been a convergence with open source solutions that would have been unthinkable even 5 years ago. Dues lauds Oracle’s integration with big data solutions such as Hadoop, Hive, HBase, Flume, and Kafka through the GoldenGate product. The solutions enable enterprises “to combine structured, semi-structured, and unstructured datasets in real time without compromising the performance of source systems.”