Happy New Year to all of you reading this and, as Steve Gillmor might say, all of you who are not.
Looks like 2018 is poised to be a busy year. This week I am off to San Francisco for Salesforce’s annual analyst kick-off, a day of briefings and 1:1 discussions designed to inform folks like me as well as to solicit advice. Past events like this have been eye-openers in that they expose the theory and motivations for new product introductions and provide focus for several years out. The crew at Salesforce is exceptionally well versed in how to carry this kind of thing off. For starters, they bring out technologists and executives we don’t often hear from or about. Second, they open the kimono a fair bit so what I learn might stay under NDA for a while. So safe to say that even if the temperature in Boston hadn’t been flirting with absolute zero for the last couple of weeks, I’d still be looking forward to the event.
Just to show how competitive it is in CRM and cloud computing these days, Oracle is not wasting time either. They’ll have an analyst kick-off the following week that I will attend. It will be a very different but still illuminating event because they have a lot to say about positioning their IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions in the modern marketplace. Oracle’s recent earnings jumps have shown that Oracle is once again a powerful competitor at the leading edge of a new part of the industry. Oracle’s big question/issue will be how they intend to encourage their installed base to begin the Herculean effort of moving to the cloud. Hint: favorable pricing won’t get the job done. So as much as I want to hear more about the autonomous database, self-patching, advanced security and all the rest of the technology, I’ll also be interested in understanding their perceived path to market. Two things you can be sure of is that Oracle has some of the brightest minds in the business and they don’t like failure.
We’ll talk. Watch this space or email me.
(Cross-posted @ Beagle Research Group)