Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison has hit out at rumours of the database industry's death, claiming that suggestions are greatly exaggerated.
Speaking at the NationsBanc Montgomery Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco last week, Ellison said the recent financial chaos in the database sector would pass.
'The idea that the industry is saturated is a bizarre notion. The database business is solid,' he said. 'Oracle comes in with a bad quarter, and you'll hear lots of reasons why but it had less to do with demand size and more to do with execution.'
Oracle's stock price crashed in December 1997 when it reported lower than expected second quarter results, which included database growth of three per cent. But this is set to change, according to Ellison.
'We think we're going to have a very strong quarter,' he said, predicting that North American database sales would rise about 25 per cent in the company's third quarter ending 28 February.
'There's a 50 per cent chance it will be below that and a 50 per cent chance it will be above, but that's my forecast,' he said.
Ellison took the blame for the recent Oracle shortfall, claiming he had underestimated how long it would take to implement Oracle 8 and associated technologies, particularly tools, following the cancellation of the Sedona project.
He conceded that Oracle had got ahead of itself in promoting network computing.
'It is a considerable part of the problem we faced,' he admitted. 'We started selling something we didn't have. It was a self-inflicted wound.'
He added: 'The corporate NC is technologically incomplete. It is a pure Java machine and is suffering from problems that we are having with Java.'
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