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Big Data: Delivering what clients want

The demise of a business often starts when a company becomes deaf to their clients. A good example of this is Radio Shack, the long time technology retail stalwart, that built a large footprint, primarily in the United States. Radio Shack became successful by providing what clients want: local, easy access to technology goods. However, through the years, they did not evolve as their customer tastes evoloved. While clients wanted service (help) and good prices...Radio Shack delivered limited service and high prices. This strategy worked, until it didnt (ie around the year 2000). See the stock chart below.


However, in recent years, Radio Shack has recommitted itself to listening to clients and the company is showing signs of a comeback. Like many companies, they got off track for awhile, but I hope to see them return to what customers originally valued: a place for local service and access to products. But there is a lesson learned here: companies that get consumed by what 'they' want versus what their clients want, put themselves at risk.

I share this story, because I see it happening today in the IT industry. Oracle has become consumed with driving what 'they' want, instead of what clients want. I see clients demanding a big data software platform, while Oracle is obsessed with 2 items that are at odds with a big data platform:

1) Driving a proprietary, all Oracle stack...in order to "lock-in" clients.

2) Leveraging Big Data and Hadoop as buzzwords, to retrofit all data into an Oracle relational database.

Here are these 2 items, in pictures from Oracle:



Oracle is insisting that clients embrace a proprietary stack and that all data needs to be in an Oracle database. It's as clear as day from their collateral, and alot like Radio Shack in 1999.


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