How to Sell Senior Management on a Data Warehouse
The real benefits of data warehousing are indirect: the ability for your company to make better, faster decisions that will save money and increase revenue.
When I interviewed Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, about Oracle customers' dissatisfaction with the vendor's application support, I took the opportunity to ask him about Oracle CEO's sales pitch for tightly integrated hardware and software, an approach that promises better testing, quicker identification of bugs, stronger security, easier integration and simpler maintenance with less patching, tuning and monitoring.
As I wrote a few months ago, this emphasis on ease and elegance reminds me very much of the highly integrated approach Apple takes with its products.
Scavo's take on my question:
... I think the concept of having integrated systems of hardware and software is attractive among very large customers with high-performance systems. The majority of Oracle applications customers are really too small to take advantage of these high-end machines. Oracle has targeted those boxes for the premium levels of support and performance.
Oracle's latest product, Financial Services Data Warehouse, squarely targets these "very large customers with high-performance systems." As Larry Dignan writes for ZDNet, Oracle wants to "upend companies like IBM and Teradata in financial services accounts." S. Ramakrishnan, group vice president and general manager, Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications, tells Dignan the product is designed to appeal to companies that must determine their liquidity on a daily basis to satisfy new regulations. To do that, Oracle has bundled in tools to make a lot of industry-specific tasks much easier.
According to a PCWorld article, the product is packaged as hardware with preinstalled Oracle financial software applications, databases and extract, transform, load (ETL) tools. The package includes self-service style reporting and business intelligence tools, although third party analytics applications also can be used to analyze data from the warehouse. It's optimized for use with Oracle's high-performance Exadata database machine.
Oracle sells some 30 financial applications that can work with this data model, all of which focus on areas very important to banks such as enterprise risk management, governance, enterprise performance management and customer insight, according to PCWorld.
I wonder if Oracle will follow up with other data warehouse packages targeted to verticals with highly specific needs. I would think this would be of particular interest to other sectors that, like the financial services industry, face lots of regulatory requirements.