This guest article was written by William Laraque who is the Managing Director of US-International Trade Services.
Oracle, Yahoo, Cloud Computing, Business Software
Oracle bought NetSuite for $9.3 billion. Oracle has in the process come late to the table of cloud computing in providing business services. Oracle has spent some $15 billion creating a network of 21 data centers around the world. Still, in competing with the successes achieved by Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM, Oracle’s older technology has the feel of a mule among racehorses. In NetSuite Oracle saw a cloud company whose sales of e-commerce and manufacturing software to smaller businesses were stalking as it tried to move into international markets. Oracle figured out that it could distribute its software efficiently over its cloud.
Oracle innovated by charging for applications on a per line of code basis rather than charging monthly fees or for up-front licences.
There is no service required more by high tech providers in the business services space than a global trade and investment facilitation platform, a one-stop shop for buying, selling goods and services and investing across borders. The volume of these trade flows is expected to reach $85 trillion by 2025.
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Silicon Valley vs Seattle
The developments regarding Yahoo, Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon, pit Silicon Valley against Seattle. To my utter amazement, as global trade moves more and more in an e-commerce direction, not one of the technological players in these regions has figured out what is needed. What is needed is a comprehensive platform which provides all of the primary and support services that facilitate buying, selling and investing across borders.
A great deal of the work has actually been done. The rule books for global trade, finance and settlement have been created. They reside with the ICC in Paris. Dispute settlement and arbitration mechanisms are in place. Secure portals along with relational databases exist. IBM has created a means of resolving disputes in financing its supply chain by using blockchains.
Despite all of these technological innovations and the spending of billions by Yahoo and now Oracle, there is not yet a comprehensive platform whereby SMEs can securely engage in global trade.
The Perimeters of Ignorance
I can only think of what Neil deGrasse Tyson said to sum up this imbroglio: “As areas of knowledge grow, so too do the perimeters of ignorance.”