Larry Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of database company Oracle, has urged companies to throw out their myriad databases, saying that the fragmentation of customer information is the number-one problem facing application systems.
The comment, made at the company's AppsWorld conference underscores Oracle's increasing focus on its applications business.
"We are in the business of selling databases and you all have bought too many of them," Ellison said.
Ellison said that up until recently, technology companies have focused on automating departments rather than automating businesses, which has led to a serious fragmentation of information.
"A company's most precious resource is its customer information - and we are paying a fortune not to get that information," Ellison said.
He noted that many companies' customer data is located in numerous databases which are expensive to maintain and yet do not offer easy access to information.
Ready access to customer data is what Oracle is trying to deliver with its E-Business Suite, Ellison said, as he marked a turn away from heavy-handed database sales to a focus on integration.
"We think we are delivering the first modern information systems that deliver information, not technology," Ellison said.
While touting the future of the company's applications business, Ellison briefly addressed Oracle's $6.3bn (£3.8bn) unsolicited bid for rival PeopleSoft, which could, potentially, broaden its offerings in the area.
Ellison said that he believed that the deal would be good for customers, promising that Oracle would not kill off any PeopleSoft product lines, and would extend support for PeopleSoft 7 and PeopleSoft 8.
He expressed frustration, however, at the PeopleSoft board's rejection of the offer, saying that the company belonged to the shareholders and not the board.
Scarlett Pruitt writes for IDG News Service