HP and Ivy Worldwide are at it again, and I’m San Francisco for the second time in the past three weeks, this time for Oracle OpenWorld. It’s been underway since shortly after I arrived at the airport, but it was all MySQL stuff, which honestly doesn’t interest me. It just doesn’t. Sorry; ACID compliance is a requirement to hold my attention. But, I did catch the keynote. If you missed the Tweet stream, well, be glad.
It really was the Worst. Keynote(s). Evar.What’s sad about that is that it really started off well. Oracle CMO Judy Sim got us off to a positive start by welcoming everyone, thanking the sponsors, and giving us a breakdown of the numbers. 41,000 people representing 116 countries at Oracle OpenWorld. That’s not a typo; more than double VMworld just two weeks ago. (San Francisco is completely and utterly full. I ended up staying in San Mateo, which is quite a ways away.) Over 141,000 cups of coffee and 59,000 lunches will be served. We would have gotten to see USA-17, the boat that won the America’s Cup for Larry, but it apparently doesn’t fit under the Bay Bridge. They also pointed out the IronMan 2 costumes (as in the IronMan suits themselves) outside for us to get our photo with, throughout the show.
Safra Catz took over, and keeping it positive (though more along the lines of Kool-Aid Drinker fare) recognized the America’s Cup crew, and then handed out the CIO of the Year Awards – trust me, it’s a very Kool-Aid Drinker award. She also gave out the awards for Partners of the year, which are selected by IDC independently. No surprise to see Fujitsu up there as the industry partner. Giving no sign of any rift, she segued to Ann Livermore, Executive VP of Enterprise Business for HP.
And this is where the whole thing went off the rails. Now understand, Ann basically launched into a sales pitch. But HP is desperate to save face after the damage Hurd has done to them institutionally by slaughtering R&D, and the PR nightmare his firing/hiring has turned into. I doubt anyone honestly believes that Oracle didn’t hire Hurd just to snipe at HP, especially after dumping them from Exadata after so many years of being the sole supplier there. HP’s in train wreck mode.
Dave Donatelli didn’t do them many favors either. And really the sin wasn’t that it was a sales pitch; they were describing what HP does for Oracle customers and what HP can do for businesses. It’s kind of their job. It’s bad material for a keynote, but it’s pretty apparent that HP’s got nobody at the rudder solidly right now. Their time, their choice on how to spend it. No, the greater sin was simply that it was boring. Not “ho hum, oh that’s neat.” It was boring. And it was also ill presented. People had tuned out almost completely when Nigel, the one behind Matrix, came up to do his quick bit on HP’s Cloud Map and Self-Service products. Nobody in the audience except HP and myself had any clue as to what Nigel was demoing, until a minute afterward Dave Donatelli finally said it was cloud. But the audience was already agitating for Larry on Twitter.
Larry. I don’t even know where to begin. Since the buyout, I’ve been hoping Larry’s ego would drive him to turn Sun back into the shining glory of engineering that it was 15 years ago, under the leadership of Scott McNealy. Instead, Larry, I just don’t know how to put it. His entire performance was shameful, disgusting, insulting, and unprofessional. He’s out there thanking sponsors one minute, then spouting some of the worst FUD out there and directly insulting them. He directly insulted five vendors and three individuals in his keynote before I walked out, unable to take any more. All five vendors? Logo’d sponsors at Oracle OpenWorld or companies Larry has significant interests in.
It was completely uncalled for, it was completely unprofessional, and it was absolutely revolting. Not only was Larry’s presentation excessively long for no good reason, but it catered exclusively to kool-aid drinkers, and sought to insult people for no reason other than to insult them. HP is one of the biggest sponsors of OpenWorld, and he directly insulted them at least three times. He launched into the most revolting and unprofessional FUD attack on Salesforce.com that I have ever been witness too. No context, no reason, he’s talking about the definition of cloud and out of left field says “oh by the way, Salesforce.com is totally insecure and other people can get at your data.” Are you fucking kidding me?!
I have never before, and sincerely hope to never again, be witness to a keynote like the one Larry Ellison delivered. In fact, I hope to hell that Larry never delivers another keynote. Because if they’re like the one he delivered tonight? I won’t watch. Exalogic is garbage, which I’ll cover in another post. Larry’s delivery was garbage. Larry’s attitude and treatment of things was insulting and unprofessional. Oracle is supposedly number one with the best of everything – there is no justifiable reason or cause for the things he said, and I’d get sued out of existence if I said the things he did.
I’m always trying to elevate the level of discourse. But tonight? I shocked myself, along with a lot of my followers, because it really was that bad. It really was. I recommend watching for yourself if you don’t believe me, but I won’t link it here. I’ve had enough association with that keynote for the rest of my life.