Mar 31, 2007

oracle acquisition timeline

Just when we all thought Oracle was done shopping (at least for now)after spending more then $20 billion USD in the last 3 years, we got the news of yet another acquisition, case in point Hyperion Solutions. Starting January 2005 we saw Larry implementing the then new growth strategy which puts vertical market product acquisitions squarely in the center. Oracle believes that for it to reach its 20% growth target for the next 5 years it has to pursue the new strategy as it can no longer rely on just organic growth. Oracle's chief geek executed this strategy by targeting industry segments such as retail, government, and financial services, where key rivals like SAP and Baan have not yet found a huge audience (Baan ERP is now owned by infor and is known as SSA ERP LN, It is basically Baan ERP project "Gemini" that runs on Unix servers).

The only thing left to be seen now is how oracle leverages these pure play acquisitions and makes them work with its core competencies, if Oracle is able to actually deliver on its promise and pull it off, it will be a success story that will be taught in business schools and told in corporate boardrooms for years to come.

oracle acquisition timeline


Just to give an idea of how much depth oracle added to its product suite here is a time line of its acquisitions between 2005 and 2007.

Since I have long been working on Portal Infranet Billing System implementation extension and deployment, therefore that acquisition last year was of particular interest to me, one thing that strikes me immediately is that with Portal Infranet and Siebel, Oracle is now the only enterprise solutions provider that can provide a truly end to end single vendor CRM solution for Telecoms and ISPs, and if you tie in to this equation PeopleSoft, it becomes a solution that can give SAP executives many a sleepless nights.

Just added (Saturday March 31st 2007): I saw another news release regarding Communications Billing and Revenue Management System (CBRM, previously Portal-Infranet) being now available for the Linux platform, I think given that linux is the one of the most deployed web hosting platform, its a very smart move on behalf of Oracle to align themselves with the open source platform, though I think if given the fact that MySql is maturing very nicely and is catching up with many of the features readily available with Oracle, MySQL will be the first database choice for all those willing to host on an open source database.

I guess Oracle's remedy for that is theInnoDB and SleepyCat (Berkeley DB) acquisition. everything has a sale price and Larry seems to always make an offer no one can refuse.

Mar 30, 2007

summer of 2007 in Pakistan

Pakistan tourism website has posted a 2007 events calendar, I thought I'd post summer events from this calendar here on my blog.

April 2007
1st - 10th; International Youth Performing Arts Festival at Lahore
11th - 14th; Baisakhi (Hasan Abdal) A spring festival of the sikh Community
12th - 13th; Baisakhi Mela (Festival Sakhi Sarwar)
13th - 20th; International Mystic Music Festival, Lahore
25th - 27th; 49th meeting of UN WTO, CSA and CAP
27th - 29th; Train Safari - Khewra Salt Mines with a Cultural Program A railway journey through the incredible Salt Mines

May 2007
11th-15th; Chitral and Kalash Festival A culture mix of celebrations
16th-21st; White Water Rafting, Azad Kashmir A gripping experience
25th - 27th; SAARC Tourism Mart, Karachi

June 2007
9th; Golden Jubilee Celebrations of First Ascent of Board Peak (8047m)
15th June - 15th July; Pakistan Women Kushek Training/Expedition, Hunza Building the spirits and exploring exotic destinations
15th June - 30th August; Pakistan Board Peak Golden Jubilee Expedition Be apart of the celebrations for the completion of the 50 years of climbing the Board Peak in 1956-7
22th - 29th; Shogran Festival A colourful cultural event in the lap of Himalayas
25th - 27th; Hunza Festival & The Tourism Convention

July 2007
7th - 9th; Shandur Polo Festival (Chitral - Gilgit) with Festival at Kalash Polo at the roof of the world
10th - 15th; Karakorum Car Rally Adventure at its Peak
15th - 17th; Broghil Festival
23rd - 28th; Mountain Marathon (AJK - Kaghan)

August 2007
12th - 14th; Freedom Jeep Rally, Gaddani Beach, Baluchistan
14th; 60th Independence Day Celebrations
23th - 24th; Mahodand Mountain Jeep Safari to the source of river Swat (9000m above sea level)

Mar 29, 2007

Karachi, Pakistan and Urdu

World Social Forum 2006 (Karachi, Pakistan)
Originally uploaded by skasuga.

in the not so distant past whenever someone mentioned Karachi, political unrest is what use to come to mind, these days it seems the city is struggling to get back to its roots, roots that run deep in the soil of culture. Culture whose biggest symbol is the Urdu language.
Not only in Pakistan but any literati from the South East Asian region (India being the biggest country in that region) will acknowledge that Urdu language literature has been the prized asset of the people from that region.

Urdu brought out the cultural and literary sophistication of the region, if it wouldn't have been for Urdu, we would have still been living in a World dominated by Persian Literature.

Urdu is a symbol of culture and civilization (adab/aadaab, tehzeeb aur saqafat) and I am happy Karachites are realizing that, best of luck in finding the lost glory.

saw an interesting blog on Karachi by Raza Rumi, he has interesting things to say about a lot of things, you might also enjoy his Karachi brief.

The Bourne Ultimatum

the final installment? of my favorite action/thriller series is coming out this summer, August 2007

Mar 28, 2007

cell phone blogging

I think being able to publish a video or a picture on your blog instantaneously via cell phone is really cool, though websites that let you do that in a minimally invasive way are still scarce. and have been somewhat leading the charge in that arena, recently came across a relative new comer, there technology shows lots of promise, what remains to be seen is if they can build enough value in there offering that can challenge the current status quo.

Here is an idea for a product, how about a working relationship with ip camera manufacturers (for example Panasonic Wireless 802.11 b/g Network Camera (BL-C30A)) where instead of they letting you view the live feed on just the proprietary website, you make there feed avaliable on say mojungle. I think it would be the most streamlined way of sharing local events globally (or letting the grand parents back home keep an eye on the kids while you work on the next blog) imagine the endless possibilities :)

Mar 27, 2007

famous lines from GodFather trilogy

famous lines from the GodFather Trilogy

1- Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But uh, until that day - accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day
2- I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.
3- Drugs is a dirty business.
4- It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brassi sleeps with the fishes.
5- It's not personal, Sunny. It's strictly business.
6- Do you know who I am? I am Moe Green. I made my bones while you were going out with cheerleaders.
7- Every family has bad memories.
8- Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgement.

and the most quoted line of all times from the same movie:

9- Never take sides against the family again, ever...

Pakistan Cricket and Religion

saw a tribute to Bob Woolmer in cricinfo by Shaharyar Khan, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, he made many good points here is an excerpt:

"The second obstacle that Bob faced was control of the team. Here he found that the captain's spiritual hold on the team prevented his holding full sway with the players, especially the senior members. Bob had some cricketing differences with Inzamam-ul-Haq but these were addressed through dialogue and mutual understanding, even though for days the captain would go into a brooding silence while Bob attempted to overcome the problem through rational discussion.

The more serious issue was that Inzamam was not only the cricketing leader but the spiritual talisman of the team who expected - and was mostly given - total obeisance by his team-mates. I recall Bob telling me, several months before the England tour, that he was severely hampered in addressing team issues because the players were constantly at joint prayers - at lunch, tea and after play. He said he never got a chance to coach the team. I advised him not to interfere in religious matters and to work round the issue. Several weeks later he came to me and said that he had appreciated my advice and added that he had found that praying together several times a day had let to bonding and a welcome team spirit in the team."
this article can be read in full length by clicking here

Mar 24, 2007

"The Awakening"

If you have ever taken a boat trip on the Potomac river around Washington DC, you can't help but notice the giant arms and legs sticking out of the ground right at the tip of the East Potomac Park, well thats a cast iron sculpture by J. Seward Johnson Jr. it was put there in 1980 as part of a Sculpture Exhibition, though the theme of the sculpture (awakening giant) is quite different from that of the other monuments, memorials and sculptures found in DC, but it does stay true to the newer era of memorials that are designed not just to aggrandize a person or an event but to make it easy for on lookers to interact, examples being the FDR memorial, Vietnam memorial and more recently World War 2 memorial.

I wonder what is Mr. Seward Johnson's thought process, a mythical giant from someone who sculpts in realism. I for one see something full of nuance, so many things are being said in so many ways.

Here is an interesting (but extremely rushed) take on Washington DC tourism 36 Hours in Washington, D.C.

greg has left the building

Last night Greg took us all out to Bucca di beppo, to celebrate quite a few milestones, he is a loan free guy, his biggest debt was his SL500 which he paid off, he is moving to miami, as he found a job down there, so now he will be living on the beach.

The photo caption is a little misleading, as it was no way just a supper, though buca is a franchise (I will explain in some latter post why that matters) but they have quite an interesting take on servings, all there servings are family size, plus the food tastes really good, so you willingly clean your plates (and make mommy happy), they have a very authentic feel, great ambiance and very knowledgable and friendly staff (btw it was our server's 8th year with Bucca, that's an impressive employee retention record).

Checkout an interesting piece on SL500

Mar 19, 2007

what I want in a media center pc

ideally a machine under $800 with

1- Blu-Ray/HD-DVD read/write
2- hdcp compatible
3- HDMI (output configurable so that I can program sound not to go to monitor)
4- 7.1 Dolby stereo output
5- cable card compatible
6- Ethernet/wifi/bluetooth/infra red
7- OS similar to windows Vista
8- PVR
9- 1GB RAM
10- gaming capable video card

Mar 18, 2007

sunday still counts as a weekend

Saturday was spent getting the car serviced, and watching some of 'Naqoyqatsi'. I like watching documentaries ( I guess thanks to Michael Moore, now a days everybody likes watching them ), but this one didn't interest me at all, its an essay done in images, I switched to tv and watched a home improvement episode on HGTV.

I wish making a stone patio, putting hardwood floors and resurfacing kitchen cabinets was as easy as they make it seem like.

I guess Pakistanis (though not knowingly) celebrated St Pats day by turning green with envy on the Irish cricket win. Pakistan lost miserably to Ireland, that made a great St Pats day present from Pakistan to Ireland.

if you watch one movie this month make sure you watch 'The Namesake'. Though myself not very fond of fiction (you might have guessed that by looking at my book list) but it seems like these days you can't help but hear about Jhumpa Lahiri, she is quite an author as my literati friends tell me, but then Mira Nair is no ordinary director, though namesake might be her most significant work yet after Salaam Bombay. Yes its that good.

weekend talkies

for us, Fridays use to be all about socio-political events happening in Washington DC, there is something happening here everyday, anybody who has anything to say, has to say it in DC.

lets try and name a few event genres in a single breath, here we go, events on the embassy row, Georgetown/GWU/GMU events, Book reviews at politics and prose, lectures at the Smithsonian, political show downs at bus boys and poets , live performances at Jammin Java, award ceremonies at the Kennedy center, and if you happen to be part of any NGO then fund raisers and silent auctions.

But i guess movie and a dinner is the least common denominator and can entertain the widest segment of any society, not many have an appetite for politics and even fewer would want to use the limited evening hours commuting all the way to DC and back, so thats what we all end up doing more.

Last movie we saw was 300, it was a must see for me, as a friend of mine who traces his origin back to Greece-(birth place of logic) gave me a background on the battle of Thermopylae and then after wiki-ing it up it was hard not to see, a story of bravery, valor and sacrifice (agreed the high definition- action-packed trailers also helped)

Recently had dinner with a few friends at the Afterwords cafe in Dupont circle, its actually a pretty good place to hangout, you are surrounded with books and so even those who may not be voracious readers end up finding a book or at least a cause that they can stand for (or against). plus the actual cafe is an open air/out door arrangement which gives the place very nice ambiance.