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Our Thoughts on The Oracle Value Chain Summit

Thoughts On The Oracle Value Chain Summit

On 3rd February thousands gathered at the San Jose McEnergy Convention Center in California for the 2014 Oracle Value Chain Summit which taught lessons on how companies could transform their supply chains into information-driven value chains. The convention, that lasted through until 5th February, aimed to provide attendees with the tools necessary to drive innovation and maximise revenue.

The leading speakers were all experts across a variety of different industries such as Geoffrey Moore, the business advisor to Cisco, HP and Microsoft as well as a best-selling author, Mark Hurd, the Oracle President, and Jane Barrett, the GVP of Gartner’s Supply Chain Research Group.

Mark Hurd gave some interesting information about Big Data. He said that the IT spend growth is projected for 1-2% per year, which is low in comparison to the data growth projection of 40% annually. 10% of the IT budget is taken up by storage and the data is expected to require the IT department budget to rise by at minimum 4% per year to keep up with that growth.

The term ‘Big Data’ has become something of a buzzword over the last few years. Its defined as a collection of data that is so intensely large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional methods of data processing applications or on-hand database management tools. Steve Banker from Forbes argues that supply chain applications have always been Big Data applications, but now they are even bigger. He says, ‘we have moved from forecasting applications that created weekly demand plans centred on a region covered by a distribution centre, to daily promotional forecasting at the retail store level.’ This change means that much more data requires analysis.

The response to this by Oracle has been hardware and software designed to work together and engineered systems that function on a much larger scale than traditional IT. Social media growth has been identified as one of the biggest drives behind the Big Data explosion, as well as the desire to use data to drive sales within marketing. At the Oracle Value Chain Summit Mark Hurd made it clear that ‘using this data is also critical for companies that don’t want to see their brand reputation damaged by customers; unhappy customers find it far easier to widely broadcast their displeasure.’

He went on to speak about a lesson that he’d been taught at business school- his professor had said that companies ‘would be foolish to try to achieve greater than 98% service level.’ He disagreed and questioned whether that was still true, especially now that social media makes every level of company service so transparent.

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