The Strength And Weaknesses Of Oracle Company Information Technology Essay

The company Oracle is particularly keen to keep all its newly acquired customers happy and convince them to buy into its Fusion roadmap. For enterprises making strategy software decisions, the company believes that it has the richest most complete portfolio of applications and middleware. The company also complies with all the ethical guidelines that law has placed and it also has its own ethical guidelines that the entire work force follows. Oracle is the only company that is capable of implementing complete global e-business solutions that extend from the front office customer relationship management to back office operational applications.

Larry Ellison saw an opportunity that other companies missed more than three decades ago. This was a description of a relational database. There was no company at that time that committed itself to commercializing the technology, but Ellison and co-founder Bob miner and Ed Oates realized the business potential of the relational database model. The company is headquartered in Redwood Shores, California. Throughout history, the company has proved that it can build for the future, meeting all demanded and changes in trends. The intimate knowledge of customers and successes analysed by the best technical and business minds in the world, made the company what it is today. The main focus of the company is to fulfil its customers’ needs and implement key technology and business decisions that upend conventional wisdom and take its products and services in new directions.

If one looks at companies that are similar to Oracle, it has become a standard for database technology and applications in enterprises throughout the world. The products of the company can be found in nearly every industry, and in the data centres of 100 of the fortune Global 100 companies. Oracle was the first company to develop and deploy 100% internet -enabled enterprise software across its entire product line: database, business applications, application development, and decision support tools. (Wikipedia)

Strength and Weaknesses

Oracle being the first company to introduce relational database, had the first mover advantage. It helped businesses improve their organization of information and also helped them improve their business processes. It is the world’s leading supplier of software for information management, and it is the world’s second largest independent software company. It has annual revenues of more than $10.1 billion. The company offers its database tools, application products, along with related consulting, education, and support services, in more than 145 countries around the world. Oracle is the only company that is capable of implementing complete global e-business solutions that extend from the front office customer relationship management to back office operational applications.

Oracle software runs on PCs, workstations, minicomputers, mainframes and massively parallel computers, as well as on personal digital assistants and set-top devices. This makes its product the best in the market. The attribute of compatibility is what gives Oracle an edge over the other companies being its major strength.

Oracles internet-enabled solutions provide a cost-effective way to expand market opportunities and improve business process efficiencies, and attract and retain customers. This is especially for the small and medium businesses that need an IT infrastructure in their organization that would help them get an edge over their competitors. With Oracles help, these companies are able to replace expensive, unwieldy client/server computing models with the efficiency and reach of the internet, companies can deploy a wealth of innovative applications that can be accessed with a Web browser.

A weakness of the company that hurts its market is the way it markets its product. Because of the image perception that it has, it is always trying to gain market on the basis of this brand recognition. And this brand recognition has badly affected it in the past.

The company markets most of its products using the slogan “Can’t break it, can’t break in”, or “Unbreakable”. (Wikipedia)What this signifies is the increasing demands on information safety. People expect the software to be unbreakable. The company also stresses on reliability of networked databases and network access to databases as major selling point.

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But two weeks after its introduction in 2002, David Litchfield, Alexander Kornbrust, Cesar Cerrudo and others demonstrated a whole suite of successful attacks against Oracle products. (Poulsen, 2002). Then the commentators criticized the slogan as unrealistic and as an invitation to crackers, but the company’s chief security officer Mary Ann Davidson portrayed the criticism as unfair.

Environmental factors

Competition

It is a fact that IBM dominated the mainframe relational-database market with its DB2 and SQL/DS database products, it delayed while entering the market for a relational database in UNIX and windows operating systems. What this did was that it opened the door to Sybase, Oracle, and Informix then eventually Microsoft to dominate mid-range and microcomputers.

This was the time Oracle lagged behind Sybase and in 1990-1993 Sybase became the fastest-growing database company and the database industry’s darling vendor, but soon it merged mania and to technical issues with System X.

But in 1993, Sybase sold the rights to its database software running under the windows operating system to Microsoft Corporation, which now markets it under the name “SQL Server.”

Informix Software overtook Sybase in 1994 and became Oracle’s most important rival. But eventually Oracle defeated Informix in 1997. And in November 2005 a book detailing the war between Oracle and Informix appeared. This book provided a detailed background on what happened and how Informix Software’s CEO Phil White landed in jail because of his obsession with overtaking Ellison.

But once it overcame Informix and Sybase, it enjoyed years of dominance in the database market. But everything changed when Microsoft SQL Server became widespread in the late 1990s and IBM acquired Informix Software in 2000. It is still the same today as it competes for license on UNIX, Linux, and Windows operating systems primarily against IBM’sDB2 and Microsoft SQL Server.

In 2004 was the year when Oracles sales grew at a rate of 14.5% to $6.2 billion, giving it 41.3% and the top share of the relational-database market. (InformationWeek – March, 2005). Oracle Corporation’s main competitors in the database arena remain IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server and to some lesser extent Sybase and Teradata. With open source databases such as PostgreSQL and MySQL, has recently made inroads by claiming that its product delivers Oracle compatibility features at a much lower price point.

The software-application market tells the same story. Oracle Corporation primarily competes against SAP. And on March22, 2007 Oracle used SAP, accusing them of fraud and unfair competition. But due to the expanding market for business-intelligence software, many other software companies have successfully competed in quality with Oracle and SAP products. But more products will appear within the next 10 years.

Oracle Strategy

The company Oracle is particularly keen to keep all its newly acquired customers happy and convince them to buy into its Fusion roadmap. For enterprises making strategy software decisions, the company believes that it has the richest most complete portfolio of applications and middleware. The company’s breadth and depth is a big plus and it has helped it in earning a good reputation for supporting acquired best-of-breed products. Furthermore, the company capitalizes on these amassed solutions, Oracle will need to further develop its ISV partner-friendly, solution-centric ecosystem a d continue to chip away at its historically less than customer focused perception. (Duncan Jones)

Corporate Governance

Oracle’s Board of Corporations has always developed a corporate governance practice in order to fulfil its responsibilities to the Oracles Corporation stockholders.

There are certain guidelines that the board must follow to help ensure that it has the necessary authority and procedures in place to oversee the work of management and to exercise independence in evaluating Oracle Corporation’s business operations. These guidelines help them align the interests of directors and management with those of the company stockholders. The company continually applies good corporate governance principles to multiple areas.

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Director

The major members of the Board of Directors of Oracle must qualify as independent directors in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The person to be selected as a Director will possess certain attributes including business judgment, management, economics, accounting and finance, legal, marketing, industry and technology knowledge, international business, leadership and strategic vision.

2. Director Responsibilities

One of the basic responsibilities of the directors is to exercise their business judgment to act in a manner they reasonably believe is in the nest interest of Oracle and its stockholders and in a manner consistent with their fiduciary duties. The directors can conduct any type of investigation as they deem appropriate, and may reasonably rely on the information provided to them by Oracle’s senior executives and its outside advisors and the auditors.

The board is also responsible for overseeing management’s efforts to assess and manage material risks and for reviewing options for risk mitigation. It also reserves the right of overseeing the major risks facing Oracle and may delegate risk oversight responsibility to committees of the Board.

Directors are expected to attend the Annual Meeting of Stockholders and to regularly attend Board meeting and meetings of committees on which they serve, to spend the time needed in preparation for such meetings and to meet as frequently as they deem necessary to properly discharge their responsibilities. In addition to this the directors should stay well-informed of Oracle’s business and markets and as appropriate, meet with Oracle’s customers or attend events or take other actions they deem appropriate to enhance Oracle’s business and its effectiveness as directors.

The board also believes that the management speaks for Oracle. Individual Board members may, from time to time, expressly represent Oracle in meetings or otherwise communicate with various third parties on Oracle’s behalf. It is expected that Board members will do this with the knowledge of the management. The most important thing is that all the directors are expected to comply with the Oracle code of Ethics and Business Conduct. (Oracle, The Oracle Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, 2010)

Conflicts of Interest

The director also has the responsibility to ensure that other commitments do not conflict or materially interfere with the director’s responsibility to Oracle.

11. Performance Evaluation

There is a Board that is led by the Nomination and Governance Committee that will periodically conduct a self-evaluation to determine whether the Board and its committees are functioning effectively. The Board with the assistance of the nomination and Governance committee shall periodically review these Corporate Governance Guidelines to determine whether any changes are appropriate. (Oracle, ORACLE CORPORATION CORPORATE GOVERNANCE GUIDELINES, 2010)

Finance and Audit Committee

The purpose of this committee is to provide advice with respect to corporation’s financial matters, to oversee the accounting and financial reporting process of the Corporation and the audits of the financial statements of the Corporation, to assist the Board of Directors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding finance, accounting, tax and legal compliance, and to evaluate merger and acquisition transactions and investment transactions proposed by the Corporation’s management.

Decision making:

There are three types of decision making all of which are distorted and affected while in the state of crisis.

Intelligence

Identify conditions that are required for decision making

Design

Invent, develop different courses of action and analyse them

Choice

Choose the best alternative, make a choice

Structured decision making:

This is defined which becomes unstructured when in the state of crisis and when it is not managed properly.

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Unstructured decision making:

Non-routine decision making (this is not defined)

TYPES OF SYSTEMS:

There are four types of system which we have covered in this (MIS) course which I will be discussing here with their importance in the Crisis management:

Transaction Processing System:

This system serves the manager at operating level. This system helps to record the transaction that took place within the organization as well as outside the organization.

Management Information System:

This system serves the managers at the middle level. This system is used to control and monitor the business functions. The input it gets is from the T.P.S. this system is not flexible and it is used for routine decision making.

Decision Support System:

This system also serves the manager at middle level. This system uses the analytical models to show the performance and it is used for non-routine decision making. This system gets it input from T.P.S and M.I.S. This system has flexibility to change data/information.

Executive Support System:

This system serves the manager at top level. This system is used to dig out information from big stores. This is used for non-routine decision making, and uses graphical representation of data. Its input sources are M.I.S and D.S.S. But it does not use analytical models for it representation.

This means that the decision making processes within the organization get distorted. And because the decision in any company is vital to its operations, hence it is important to have IS as a supporting tool in crisis management.

The company uses all these software in its IT infrastructure. It does not need to do anything in order to change this or to improve this. All it needs to do is to maintain a place where all the information of the organization could be accessed easily. This would reduce the time of data retrieval and would also help them in improving them customer relations and their business.

Oracle and Ethics

Internet technology has posed new challenges for the protection of individual privacy. Information sent over this vast network of networks may pass through many different computer systems before its final destination. Each of these systems is capable of monitoring, capturing and storing communications that pass through it.

It is possible to record all online activities of literally tens of millions of people, including which online newsgroups or files a person has accessed, which Web sites and Web pages he or she has visited, and what items that person has inspected or purchased over the Web. Much of this monitoring and tracking of Web site visitors occurs in the background without the visitor’s knowledge. Tools to monitor visits to the World Wide Web have become popular because they help organizations determine who is visiting their Web sites and how to better target their offerings. Some firms also monitor the Internet usage of their employees to see how they are using company network resources. Web retailers now have access to software that lets them “watch” the online shopping behaviour of individuals and groups while they are visiting a Web site and making purchases. The commercial demand for this personal information is virtually insatiable. Information technology has made it difficult to protect intellectual property because computerized information can be so easily copied or distributed on networks. Intellectual property is subject to a variety of protections under three different legal traditions: trade secrets, copyright, and patent law.

Oracle takes this into account and makes sure that these things are kept in mind and that the company name is not amongst the ones that are not known for their services. All the products produced by the company are up to customer standards and they try to fulfil them by being true and not being fraudulent.

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