CIO.de: You were CIO for years, including at Vorwerk and Innogy. You have now taken over the German management at Oracle. What made you change sides?
Stefanie Kemp: Something like this doesn’t happen in a planned manner, coincidences play a role and of course the fact that in the course of my career I’ve met a lot of people who might call at the right moment.
CIO.de: And why Oracle?
Kemp: In the past three years I have looked at the topics of digitization, innovation and processes in companies from different perspectives. One of the megatrends is of course cloud computing. Oracle got involved later, but in terms of technology, we’re doing the right thing.
One of the big challenges for CIOs is that you never have a fully integrated portfolio when it comes to database, middleware and applications. In today’s Oracle world, customers can technically fully integrate their company and design it from end to end. That was a brilliant moment for me. I said to myself: If I am going to switch sides, then to an integrated supplier who has understood how and with which products complete company processes can be covered in an integrative way.
CIO.de: How did your many friends from the CIO community react when you revealed your Oracle plans to them?
Kemp: (Laughs) There were of course some ‘funny reactions’, but also a lot of congratulations, which I was really happy about. What we as CIOs at Oracle may have missed a bit was thinking in terms of solutions and not just products. That’s where I want to start, that makes it interesting for me. A couple of CIOs said to me: Now at Oracle we have someone who speaks our language and knows what to expect. That is of course an incentive …
CIO.de: Oracle is known for its central position worldwide and has a reputation for being a strongly sales-driven company. How much leeway do you have for individual customer solutions?
Kemp: One of the many topics that we talked about beforehand was the perception of Oracle by customers and the design of this interface. With the decision to appoint me to this position, Oracle is starting again: Instead of thinking in terms of sales and product categories, we want to pursue the solution more intensively – and so be perceived by customers. This is a culture change that Oracle wants to drive forward here. And I am overwhelmed by how the Oracle staff are taking this too.