The Innovation Clock is Ticking

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attendees at Oracle OpenWorld here were watching the clock at this afternoon's keynote presentation delivered by Intel's Paul Otellini -- but it wasn't out of boredom. In a captivating speech titled "Time to Innovate" the microprocessing company's president and chief executive officer touched on topics from time travel to atomic clocks to package-delivery efficiency. Above all, his address focused on timing's impact on business and proficiency.

"All you need to go back in forth in time these days is a PC and a browser," Otellini said, referencing time travel and the DeLorean. He went on to talk about some of the incredible efficiency improvements of the past 10 years, pointing out that productivity has nearly doubled since the mid-1990s. "If you analyze it, [that improvement] was a largely a function of information technology," he said.
He outlined several industries in which time is incredibly critical, including parcel shipping. When FedEx arrived on the scene in 1971, the delivery company was shipping out 186 packages per day, Otellini said. Now it ships 7.6 million parcels a day. How does FedEx accomplish that scale? "Let's jump to obvious -- they use airplanes," Otellini said. "But that's not what makes the business tick. They built it on technology. [FedEx] spent a billion dollars a year inside the company on technology." Otellini relayed that computational processing that once took 7.1 hours on an Intel Pentium 4 chip can today be done in 29 minutes. Another stunning statistic presented was that five years ago, 80 percent of all stock trades required some kind of human intervention. Today, however, only 5 percent do.

Reminding the crowd that Intel is Oracle's longest-running partner, Otellini pointed to several specific users that combine the two companies' offerings to deliver time-efficient processes. One of the examples was in the field of medical imaging. A short video clip revealed that a healthcare company is able to transmit over 850 images per second using Oracle applications powered by Intel processing power. According to Intel, rate is 10 times better the industry standard.

In terms of news, Otellini announced an extended collaboration with Oracle in the area of cloud computing. The partnership is aimed to "take enterprise readiness of cloud computing and drive it outward," as he put it. "Together we will work on the security and flexibility of migration between the private and the public cloud," Otellini said.

At a later "unplugged" session, Oracle Executive Vice President Chuck Rozwat expanded a bit on partnership, stumbling a bit as he tried to balance the day's news announcement with Oracle's stated position on "openness" and nonexclusivity. "When we do announcements with one vendor, it typically is something we might do with other vendors as well -- unless we declare it exclusive," he said, responding to a question about whether Oracle plans to do something similar with partner Advanced Micro Devices. Without offering any specific information about AMD, Rozwat did admit that "Intel typically is aggressive about looking for new opportunities and we've been happy about it. They own a large part of the market and we've made sure that we optimize what we do in a number of areas."

Otellini's keynote also touched on the topic of Green IT -- a goal and theme of this year's OpenWorld. He pointed to a 2007 Gartner report that lists Global IT as responsible for 2 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide. Although that may not seem like a lot, Otellini said that actions need to be taken now to make sure that the figure doesn't grow. "Can we impact the 98 percent?" he asked the crowd. "I think so."

Otellini also boasted that Intel is the biggest purchaser of renewable energy in the United States, and added that both Oracle and Intel are members of the Smart Energy Alliance. "Our goal is to leverage IT to transform the energy industry itself," Otellini said. "It's a key area where IT can have a huge impact."

For more coverage from Oracle OpenWorld 2008, follow our blogpost dispatches at http://www.destinationcrmblog.com/tag/oow/. 
Managing Editor Joshua Weinberger is using Twitter to deliver real-time dispatches from the show: http://www.twitter.com/kitson

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

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