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Ten lessons from Oracle OpenWorld

1: Trade shows aren’t dead. (Sorry Rivka.) The crowds at Moscone Center —ALL of Moscone Center — are bigger than remembered. Of course it’s been two years since I covered the event and in that time, Oracle’s bought about a gagillion companies, as IDC’s Carl Olofson pointed out. Oracle’s sales force alone has grown from 8,000 to 17,000 in five years, mostly due to acquisitions. So maybe Oracle stacked the deck.

2: This SaaS thing has legs! Who knew? Oracle CRM On Demand sales grew 80% last year and in the next four quarters the company expects its sales to surpass those of on-premise CRM, according to David Bonnette, group vice president.

3: There’s no more boat at the bottom of the escalators.

4: Sales of Oracle databases and middleware into accounts with less than $50 million in revenue will all go through partners. This according to Michael Cochran, vice president of North American emerging technology sales.

5: Oracle still has more chutzpah than your average software megalith. Partner: “When Chuck Phillips was going on and on about how software is great because it’s a repeatable business and as more people buy it, the lower the cost of sales…all I could think was:  ‘So why a 50% price increase in WebLogic’s high-end server?'”

6: The totally randomly selected and unvetted testimonials flashing on screen around the show were very educational. Pithy little ditties like: “Have you ever noticed how Data Guard just keeps getting better and better?” Yeah. Random.

7: Oracle ain’t gonna give solution providers a piece of its maintenance and support goldmine. It appears to be channeling the immortal Duane Ingalls Glasscock, saying to partners: “How’s it feel to want?”

8: There was little evidence at the show of former Oracle BFF Sun Microsystems. Although, apparently there is some Sun activity there. In the old days, Oracle OpenWorld just wasn’t Oracle OpenWorld without a Scott McNealy keynote. The Dell/HP/Oracle love fests over the years haven’t helped. Nor Sun’s buy of MySQL. Whatever.

9: Oracle is targeting’s EC2 and S3 “clouds” for now, but it will work with other clouds in the future, Chuck Rozwat told reporters Tuesday. There will be “subsequent announcements.”

10: Oracle wants partners to 1: specialize in verticals; 2: pick up “edge” products like G-log, Demantra, business intelligence, Agile. 3: Stop their bitchin.

(Okay, I made the last one up.)

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# 11 ( #1 in my book ) Fusion Confusion. Oracle Sales Roadmap is "Sell what's available now" Oracle Product Strategy is "a lot of great stuff is coming" Oracle Consultants is "overlap exists" and Buyer beware.