Oracle chief warns ME: social is a brand risk

Dissatisfaction can rapidly multiply in a connected world, says Mark Hurd

Tags: Cloud computingOracle CorporationSocial MediaUnited Arab Emirates
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Oracle chief warns ME: social is a brand risk Hurd: The world is changing; now every time you make a mistake everybody knows about it. (Goldfish Photography & Video)
By  Stephen McBride Published  January 15, 2013

Oracle Corp's president Mark Hurd today warned Middle East business leaders of the dangers of ignoring the explosion in social media, citing industry figures that say 65% of companies consider the technology a significant or critical risk to their brand reputation.

Speaking at the Oracle Cloud Conference in Madinat Arena, Dubai, Hurd told a packed ballroom that the future of business was in the hands of social networking and those that did not buy into the notion would be punished by the market.

"Sixty-five per cent think this is a big deal," said Hurd. "If you can find the other 35%, when you're thinking of buying stock, don't buy theirs."

Hurd and his colleagues are in Dubai to promote Oracle's vision for the cloud, one of the four technologies that make up the so-called Third Platform of social, mobile, analytics and cloud. As competition heats up over migrating customers, Oracle today laid claim to being the only service provider with a full suite of cloud-ready products that allow a choice between private, hybrid or Oracle Cloud solutions. Oracle believes it is ready for the battle.

"We have 72 products that we measure and we are number-one in over sixty of them," Hurd declared.

"We are vertically integrating the leading database, the leading middleware, the leading OS, the leading applications. We can deliver service levels never seen before in the industry. With our Platinum service we can give five-minute response times."

Oracle is, Hurd believes, operating in a world where even the smallest number of dissatisfied customers can represent a business risk.

"Let's say you have a million customers and your satisfaction rate is 99.9%," said Hurd. "What's 99.9% of a million? How many unsatisfied customers do you have? A thousand. What happens when those thousand customers communicate socially?"

Hurd argues that the multiplication of dissatisfaction through social media exchanges is a business threat. Technology has robbed companies of the luxury of hiding from the few mistakes they make.

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