You said Oracle's salespeople are aggressive. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We don't want people to be passive, we want them to be working with the customer and helping the customer achieve their objectives. One of the things we've done a lot at Oracle is change [sales] territories, and that sort of exacerbates things. We're really culturally changing that. Next year we'll be working really hard on getting continuity and consistency in the sales relationships. This is a big deal to us. We're spending a lot of time on this.
IDGNS: SAP has made it clear it wants to take database market share away from Oracle with its HANA platform, especially by replacing Oracle's database underneath SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementations. Do you feel threatened by HANA?
Hurd: If I'm a CIO and I think of the things that will make me great, I don't think [migrating to HANA] gets on the list. I think what gets on the list is, do I innovate? Do I help improve that customer experience for my company. I think there has to be a clearer mission than just, let's replace this, let's replace that. There needs to be some value-add. Are you going to take your core ERP and change out the infrastructure, with the risk that it falls apart, the risk that it doesn't work? Our view has been for SAP, particularly, if they want to spend their time and money going after database, that's great. I've heard people say they should probably have about the success they've had with their middleware strategy. [SAP has said HANA is the fastest growing product in its history.] There's a lot of people that want to go do a bunch of stuff. If that's their most innovative thing, good luck to them.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.