If you thought Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's announcement of the Oracle Public Cloud and general Salesforce.com bashing was as good as it got yesterday, you're in for a surprise. At the end of the keynote he introduced the Oracle Social Network, an unexpected and brand spankin' new platform that's integrated with Fusion applications. And guess what! It looks nothing like Facebook.
The Oracle Social Network
The Oracle Social Network is a byproduct of the Fusion application project development process. One of the original Fusion design parameters was to create a modern user interface, but somewhere in the six years it took to complete the project, collaboration became the new pink.
“The biggest change over the past few years is social networking,” explained Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “Today, organizations want to connect their people, their applications, their processes and their customers."
And so, the Oracle Social Network was born. The new software, which can be used for communicating inside an organization as well as with external partners and customers, enables business users to find and collaborate with the right people within their enterprise and across enterprises. And because it's seamlessly integrated with Oracle Fusion Applications, users can receive real-time information feeds from the connected systems for quick collaboration and resolution.
Down With The Facebook Effect
Oracle's network will obviously compete on a functional level with Salesforce.com's Chatter on-demand social networking service, but the visuals are a completely different story:
While Ellison didn't specifically mention the difference between his platform and Facebook's, he did say that Oracle's social network is very unique in appearance. And because most enterprise platforms these days look and behave like Facebook, I think it's safe to say there's been a deliberate departure from Zuckerberg-inspired design here.
Promoting the idea that everything you need should be on the first page, right off the bat the navigation is noticeably different. In Oracle's world, the information becomes the menu:
It's interesting that Ellison would choose to make such a change. After all, we were just talking about how Facebook continues to dominate the enterprise user experience, and for good reason: Facebook has 750+ million users. That's 750+ million people who don't have to be trained to use social business applications.
Is Ellison off his rocker with this redesign, or is he onto something? Let us know what you think about the design, or even just the network in general, in the comments below.