Oracle's best-of-breed strategy, as described by president Mark Hurd

Oracle's new Fusion applications and plans to win in the evolving server market

It used to be easy journalistic shorthand to write 'database giant Oracle Corp.', but that labeling no longer fits a company that's now a key player in applications, appliances, servers, development tools, operating systems and, yes, even cloud computing. How do all these components gel into a coherent plan for IT customers? What makes Oracle better than the other big integrated systems players like HP and IBM? In this latest installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Oracle President Mark Hurd spoke with IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant about Oracle's strategy and why the company is uniquely positioned to help IT leaders deal with the difficult challenges they're facing today. Hurd also clarified Oracle's stance on cloud -- a position clouded -- sorry -- by some earlier comments from CEO Larry Ellison -- and what makes Oracle's approach better than 'very old' cloud solutions like He explained more about customer migrations to Oracle's new Fusion applications and discussed how Oracle plans to win in the evolving server market.

Talk about the unifying strategy at Oracle today. We hear a lot about Oracle wanting to be the 'one-stop shop' or owing the entire computing stack. But put it in your own words: What's Oracle's strategy?

Right now we're working on four things. We're trying to be best-of-breed at every layer of the stack, whether that's at the hardware layer, silicon or storage. We're trying to be best-of-breed in OS's, in databases, in middleware and applications. We want to work in heterogeneous environments and have a high level of enterprise fit -- to be the best at everything we do. And we line up -- engineering to sales -- to do that.

Secondly, we then vertically integrate those pieces. We will take those very same piece-part capabilities that I described and bring them together into a vertically integrated system, like what you see in Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics, that can provide extreme performance and extreme benefits from a total cost of ownership perspective. For example, the Exadata solution can deliver 70-times improvement in performance -- a report that took 70 minutes now takes one minute. So we're vertically integrating for extreme improvement in performance and TCO for our customers.

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