That's a market for consolidation now. That's not where the growth is. What a lot of people are saying now is, 'Hey I've automated the call center, can I improve my per-customer profitability?' It's not about automation, it's about optimizing my business, and that's all about leveraging information.
Even in China, the automation market is saturated. Everywhere, we are seeing the automation market is saturating. There are a lot of projects going on in automation, don't get me wrong. But in that market, people have made their decisions. Now people are saying, how can I optimize?
We don't do supply chain software, but we make supply chain software better. We don't do core banking, but we make core banking better. That's the optimization market. It's a multi-tens-of-billions-of-dollars' worth of market. That's where the world is starting to go.
IDGNS: So who are you competing with?
Goyal: It's not who, but what segment. All these companies have become very, very big. When we work with HP, some of IBM's business provides services and software on HP's hardware, and our hardware business competes with HP. Same thing with databases: We fight against Oracle. But when we work with Siebel and Peoplesoft, we work with Oracle.
IDGNS: Microsoft just made an offer for Fast Search and Transfer, a high-end, pureplay enterprise search vendor. They clearly see it as a growth business. How important is search within the IOD strategy?
Goyal: Search to me is an ingredient technology. People don't buy search. People buy improved interaction with a client. [Search] is an ingredient technology that helps me solve a particular problem. People tell me Yahoo and Google are in the search business. They're not, they're in the advertising business. Search is just an ingredient technology that they use. With everything we do in Information on Demand ... search will be one of the ingredient technologies to leverage structured information and unstructured information.
IDGNS: Are you done buying companies?
Goyal: If history is an indication of what we have done over the past seven years, we can predict the future. You can answer your own question as to whether I'm done buying companies.
We are now in the optimization space, where two decades ago the world was in the automation space. When JD Edwards came out, when the first sense of ERP started to emerge, and so on.
We feel from a basic truth perspective we are in the best position. We now have information integration, master data management, we have BI, data warehousing, databases, content management, we have search.
But the journey of optimization has just begun. It will take us in ways we don't understand, even today. We are going after information on demand in real time. Sub-second, sub-millisecond response times to a question asked in a call center and delivering information just in time to optimize a business process or a human decision. So this is a two-decade journey.