The Data Transition Fails When IT-Led Initiatives Don’t Work with Business | #oow13

Dave Vellante, Chief Analyst at Wikibon, broadcasted live from the Moscone Center in San Francisco this week, hosting theCUBE at Oracle Open World 2013.  Today he spoke with Pat Sullivan (Managing Director – Oracle Practice, Accenture) and Derek Steelberg (Global Managing Director of Oracle Business, Accenture) on current market trends.

Vellante introduced Accenture as a company that is “unmatched” in terms of scale and global expertise, one of the leading consultancies in the world. After a short recap on the history of Oracle, mentioning a couple of notable acquisitions, Vellante asked his guests to elaborate on their challenges at work during all those years they took “the hardware complexity and made it work with various software.”

Engineering dreams into reality


“What engineered systems is allowing us to do is get better performance out of the solutions we’ve been implementing with our clients,” said Sullivan. He believes that, as system integrators, it is their job to stitch all these products together, making them functional and profitable.

“Engineered systems take some of the risk out from the project perspective,” explained Sullivan. “The marketing message from Oracle is that you plug it in, it turns on and it works great.” But Sullivan is candidly admitting that “then there’s the reality…”

One of the biggest problems they keep encountering across various organizations is a lack of communication: “Everytime we walk into an account where they’ve taken out engineer systems, that’s usually the first thing that’s out of order: teams are not used to talking / working together, and we do have to educate and train them, and that’s a big part of the project as well,” Sullivan explained.

Vellante asked Steelberg to speak on the latest developments from Accenture, and what Oracle Open World means for the company.

New opportunities in Oracle’s cloud


“The announcements that Oracle has made created a lot of opportunities for Accenture and for our clients. The cloud offerings that Oracle is bringing to the market is turning the corner from an Accenture perspective to be very competitive and to be very relevant to our client base,” said Sullivan. “We’re seeing a lot of interest from our clients in the G2000 base in Oracle’s cloud offerings and we see a lot of opportunities to work with our clients to implement these systems. We’re quite excited about that.”

Next up Vellante asked Derek Steelberg what customer requests Accenture is getting when clients need help with their cloud.

“They ask us to help them understand how all these different parts fit together, what’s ready for prime time and what’s not, what’s the roadmap they should be pursuing in order to do the implementations,” Steelberg explained. “They are looking to find the right balance, helping their clients get the most out of their existing systems.

“Some clients are really focused on driving down their costs, showing interest in improving the TCO and increasing their flexibility. Others just see IT as a strategic weapon for themselves to gain competitive advantage, so they are looking to see what new technologies we bring,” continued Steelberg.”There is a number of clients out there who see the need to analyze massive amounts of data in real time to help drive their business.”

Has PRISM affected the enterprise?


Moving on to the delicate subject of security, Dave Vellante asked his guests in theCUBE if the clients have become more sensitized to the issues of security, data storage, access to their data, and data encryption – with all that PRISM and the NSA discussion that’s been going on.

“Accenture is a global company, so we deal with a lot of European companies and the rules and regulations regarding data are different in Europe than in the US. The clients in Europe and Asia have always had a heightened sense of concern around data and data security. The PRISM and NSA just brought that back to the US… I wouldn’t say that clients are more concerned, but that they remain concerned about it,” Sullivan replied.

Will infrastructure really disappear?


Tackling the issue of hardware/software, Vellante brought up the metaphor of “the iPhone of the Enterprise.” As his guests stated before, we’re not quite there. Vellante wanted to know if we’ll ever get to the point where infrastructure becomes transparent, where we’ll get more ROI out of the processes and applications.

“If you’re a brand new company, starting from scratch, it’s viable in terms of having a quick start; the challenge that we deal with is we’re working with clients who have been in business for hundred of years, or more.” said Sullivan. “They’ve got data, they’ve got processes, it’s a lot of complexity. Regardless of how easy engineered systems can make things, there’s still a lot of work that has to happen to be able to turn on those features. Once they’re on, however, it’s simplifying architecture.”

Most clients have a portfolio of thousands and thousands of applications and they want to get from point A to point B. Vellante asked how Accenture helps its customers manage the process. Steelberg joked that “When God created the world in seven days, he didn’t have to deal with the install base.”

“We’re helping our customers understand which of the legacy applications are strategic, how do you encapsulate those if you want to keep them, which of the legacy applications are no longer providing business value and how do you replace those. Obviously, you can’t tackle everything at once, and you want to do it in terms of minimizing the business disruptions and maximizing the value to the customers and your clients.You have to plan a roadmap to figure out how to make that happen,” explained Steelberg.

On managing + measuring metrics


Talking about business value, Vellante was curious how Accenture helps clients understand and measure it.

“You’d be surprised how many customers do not track the metrics that they need to be tracking to understand business value today, so one of the things you want to do is encourage companies who are going through a large scale business transformation to understand what are the major metrics that drive their business and will move the needle for them… where are they today and where do they want to get to – to be competitive,” said Steelberg. That’s one of the differentiators of Accenture, noted Vellante.

“Accenture operates across pretty much any industry, and our experts have a good understanding of what good practices look like in a particular industry, and what’s applicable to the client. We try to help them find the right set of metrics and the right set of processes along the dial, to maximize the return for them,” explained Steelberg.

Wrapping up, Vellante asked his guests to offer a piece of advice for their customers who are going through an IT transformation.

“I think it’s about starting with the end in mind (where you want to get to) and recognizing that an IT transformation shouldn’t necessarily be IT-led. You really should be thinking about the business, and where you want to get to from a business perspective. If we see a transformation that fails, it’s because an IT-led initiative is not working with the business,” concluded Steelberg.

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.

One click below supports our mission to provide free, deep, and relevant content.  

Join our community on YouTube

Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, and many more luminaries and experts.

“TheCUBE is an important partner to the industry. You guys really are a part of our events and we really appreciate you coming and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy