Its ongoing buying spree may have reduced the number of competitors Oracle Corp faces, but for every rival taken out there is a threat that a new one will rise in its place and open source could be the cradle, the company has hinted.
Oracle is far from complacent according to UK MD, Ian Smith, acknowledging that although the large respected vendors are important, Oracle cannot focus all of its attention on them. Open source is very attractive. Historically, we have not touched it. Sleepycat is an opportunity to better understand it, he said.
The company is not under-estimating the potential. Open source will drive change, he added, because by its nature open source developers focus on the current and future needs of customers. I have yet to find a company that focuses on its customers and its people who has failed.
Smith believes open source and traditional proprietary software can co-exist within the same organization because they fulfil two different roles. Companies need a dependable business application, but in other areas they are prepared to take risks, he said. He thinks this is especially applicable in peripheral or dynamic application areas such as those based around the web. Oracle needs to be able to cater for both categories, he suggested.
Where our customers are at the bleeding edge, we have to be there as well, he said. The trick will be acting so as not to stifle entrepreneurs on the open source and innovative application side, while enabling access and integration with the core applications.