What's Up With Oracle?

Is Oracle taking over the world? It’s not so much a stretch to think so. Oracle has bought application competitors such as PeopleSoft and Siebel during a buying spree that ended last year.

But the database, middleware and application company is out to reassure customers, and investors, that the purchases were worth it. The company plans to launch in 2008 a new Java-based application suite called “Fusion” (from which it is taking the best of Oracle, Siebel, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards functionality). But it won’t stop supporting the other brands’ software as stand-alone entities. That’s what Mark Johnson, Oracle Public Sector senior vice president, tells Tech Insider. He also promises no forced upgrades, a continued stream of enhancements, and no internally-competing application development teams.

Johnson says Oracle sees the most growth potential in selling middleware â€" application servers, service-oriented architecture and such. Applications come second, and databases, the technology that launched Oracle in the late 1970s, in third place. It makes sense â€" databases are a mature product.

But what about the big question: Who’s going to replace Oracle chief Larry Ellison, whenever he chooses to step down? Johnson notes that the Ellison has two co-presidents reporting to him, Safra Catz (also the chief financial officer) and Charles Phillips. Johnson has been at Oracle for 19 years.

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