Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My visit at Oracle

We arrived at Oracle on a very windy day. 8 buildings shaped like a database (base de donnees in French) absolutely immaculate, shiny and very 21st century. Oracle is the company that makes Amazon, Yahoo or Google work so well. When you order at Amazon.com you put your name on a database and Amazon is able to use all this information because of Oracle. Oracle is 80,000 employees worldwide 8,000 in California. If you go on their website and check their list of products, you will be amazed that the whole alphabet from A to Z is complete (or almost except 3 letters!) We met a top engineer in charge of creating a product. Because of confidentiality, we only know his product is ready to be launched at the end of June. We arrived in a splendid lobby, top luxury furniture, Huge windows, the design spelled with a big D. Look at the shape of the chairs. Check the alleys where employees are reminded to walk and exercise: ah the American way of life when exercise is supposed to be part of your day. A fitness center, tons of beautiful benefits, 3 weeks vacation "I hardly can take 3 weeks together" said our host. Well Oracle is a company you wish to work for: very often between 3 and 4pm, the parking lot gets emptied, because at Oracle, we are comfortable. The products they have created, well there is very little competition. So employees are just happy to work, "do their hours" and go home. But the outsourcing (so important at Oracle) is pushing some employees to work from home. "No problem and better, if your job is done, no one is checking on you" We like that! Now Larry Ellison, the CEO has a different way of life. When you are a billionaire, well, your life can change overnight. First, yes, check carefully, the metal detector (picture in 2nd row on left) in the building where he is working. And the red plane on top of the ceiling, his "first miniature" plane. Don't you love it? Larry owns a few airplanes, the beautiful boat (called the BMW Oracle Racing. Picture in 2nd row on the right) you can see through the window (used for the American Cup) and a mansion in Woodside worth a few millions dollars. Do you know that his income this past year was 21 billion dollars? (not a typo) Well with such a salary you need bodyguards (he has a few everywhere he goes) and yes metal detectors doors...

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