SAN DIEGO -- Oracle CEO Larry Ellison yesterday told more than 10,000 Oracle AppsWorld attendees that the company has a new integration strategy, and a new product called Customer Data Hub that is going to eliminate the need for users to dump their legacy applications.
Ellison told Oracle users that the company is maintaining its long-time position that customers would be better off migrating Oracle application systems fully to the Oracle E-Business Suite. However, Ellison also admitted that many Oracle customers either can't afford to, or simply don't want to, get rid of a myriad of custom applications and systems they already have in place.
Oracle's answer to the problem, Ellison said, is the company's new Customer Data Hub model, which consolidates data from disparate systems into a central repository.
"This is not a matter of periodically extracting information and building a single data warehouse," Ellison said. "This is a real-time connection."
Oracle's new strategy means that applications from competitors such as SAP AG will be more easily integrated with Oracle systems.
Steve Johnson, an AppsWorld attendee who works as an independent consultant in Michigan, said that, while Data Hub may offer advantages for some companies, moving to the E-Business Suite is still the most effective way to consolidate systems, in his opinion.
"You get information all in one place and faster than you ever could with separate systems," Johnson said.
The Data Hub model is expected as part of the next release of the company's business applications platform, Oracle E-Business Suite 11i.10, due out this summer. Data Hub also uses tools for loading, mapping and data cleansing.
Ellison said Data Hub allows companies to give a global identity to customers, rather then having to use the multiple identities found in separate company systems. The software also comes with data library tools to help eliminate bad data.
"It really is trying to achieve the same goal by a different means," Ellison said.
Eliminating bad data while trying to capture data from seven disparate databases and a multitude of legacy systems was the job of Carol A. Kummer, vice president of IT at the American Hospital Association, which supports 5,000 hospitals in the United States. Kummer recently opted to consolidate the legacy systems into a data warehouse and use pieces of the 11i E-Business Suite.
"It goes to show that there are a variety of options for people out there, and selecting the best one is often more difficult then rolling it out," Kummer said.
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