Oracle tech festival opens with a buzz

Oracle’s massive five-day gathering of tech junkies and businesspeople began at the Moscone Center on Sunday with hundreds of presentations and a speech from the Peninsula’s $21.5 billion man.

CEO Larry Ellison, Woodside, who co-founded the company in 1977, was the opening night’s keynote speaker. Forbes named him the 11th richest person alive this year with an estimated net worth of $21.5 billion.

Ellison spoke Sunday night about his Silicon Valley startup that began with a $48,000 deal with the CIA. Eventually, a partner began paying his bills after the bank started foreclosing on his house. But that was only the start of his uncharacteristic beginnings.

“As programmers, of course, we would always stay up late and order pizza,” said Ellison, who found out one night that his pizza deliveryman was studying accounting at UC Berkeley. Coincidentally, his startup needed an accountant. “So of course we made him the chief financial officer.”

Oracle OpenWorld 2007 is so large, in fact, that it took up more than all three halls of the center and shuts downHoward Street between Third and Fourth streets from Thursday night until this Saturday morning. A tent was set up on that roadway, along with another one at Yerba Buena Gardens to complete a mini-downtownlike setting for the expected 45,000 attendees.

The conference draws well-known companies from across the globe, including Sun Microsystems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Geek Squad, Canon, Best Buy, Subaru, Blue Cross, GE and plenty of small companies.

Until the Sunday night event with Ellison and President/CFO Safra Catz, the opening day started 1,400 of the week’s talk “sessions” featuring new products and services, which make up the majority of each day’s happenings.

The real fun should start today when demonstrations and exhibitions begin, event organizers said. More than 500 exhibitors from Oracle and its partners will show off their new products across more than 300,000 square feet of space.

The center turned into a giant Wi-Fi-enabled coffeehouse during the event. Participants such as Alec Stinson were lounging on giant beanbag chairs and using their laptops all day long.

“[OpenWorld] is just the place you go for this sort of thing,” said Stinson, who flew in from Ohio with his company.

Stinson, his business partners and others filled five hotels around the center. All the hotel and local business patronage is expected to pump around $80 million into The City’s economy.

San Francisco has hosted the event since its first small gathering in 1982, according to a greeting by Mayor Gavin Newsom. The corporation billed its event as an opportunity to “explore the latest innovations in applications, technologies and solutions.”

mrosenberg@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Second grader Genesis Ulloa leads students in an after-school community hub in a game at the Mission YMCA on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF parents face school year with hope, trepidation and concern

‘Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it’

Health care workers in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, with Alejandro Balderas, a 44-year-old patient who later died. Even in California, a state with a coronavirus vaccination rate well above average, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
Why COVID took off in California, again

‘The good news is: The vaccines are working’

Lake Oroville stood at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
Facing ‘dire water shortages,’ California bans Delta pumping

By Rachel Becker CalMatters In an aggressive move to address “immediate and… Continue reading

Most Read