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Hurd: Oracle must do better

12 Apr 2013

Oracle co-president Mark Hurd has promised to make the company easier to work with, citing a closer relationship with user groups.

The software maker, who missed third quarter targets last month, hope a change in salesforce could signal a brighter future going forward.

"In my core, I believe salespeople that don't know their products are frankly worthless to you," Hurd said.

The company blamed an expanding salesforce for the pretty big miss during the past quarter, with the problem now clear for all to see.

“What we really saw was the lack of urgency we sometimes see in the sales force, as Q3 deals fall into Q4,” said Safra Catz, chief financial officer, Oracle last month.

But the company has been adding thousands of new sales rep around the world, in an attempt to turn around the business image and a project an air of professionalism amongst the ranks.

"We do not want to be hard to work with," Hurd said.

"We have no strategy where we sit in a room and say we want to be harder to work with."

Plans to address the problem include a move into working more closely with user groups, with Hurd ultimately wanting to make customers "thrilled and happy."

"I look at the user groups as an extension of Oracle," Hurd said.

"We want your input. What I've instructed our team to do is put more energy into this, and not less.

"My objective is to turn you into zealots, to help us ... sell."

While Hurd's vision is clear, his views may not be felt equally throughout the company ranks, especially considering the company's North American sales chief Keith Block left last year - believed to be down to a clash over Hurd's leadership.

Is Oracle difficult to work with? Is Hurd correct to address this problem? Tell us your thoughts below