Standing for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, SWOT analysis represents a strategic analytical tool to be used for company analysis. Burrow (2008) stresses that SWOT analysis offers the advantages of identifying core capabilities and competencies associated with the business and developing suitable strategies and tactics.
Oracle research and development capabilities can be highlighted as one of its main points of competitive edge. Specifically, the company successfully operates Oracle Labs where a wide range of projects that include Fortress, Maxine Research VM, QVM, Adaptive Optimization, Computer Architecture and Performance Modelling (CAP), Network Computing, Scalable Synchronisation, Electric VLSI Design System and many other projects have been developed that contribute to the competitive edge of the company (Oracle Lab, 2011, online).
Other points of strengths include inorganic growth strategy that has enabled the company to achieve its current status and the robust market positioning of the brand. Moreover, the company has a strong and charismatic leader in the personality of Larry Ellison.
Moreover, the takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle considerable enhanced the position of the company in the global marketplace and the same time as increasing the ranges of products and services offered by Oracle.
One of the major weaknesses of Oracle relates to the heavy dependence of the company on the US and Europe marketplaces. Specifically, during the fiscal year of 2009-2010 Oracle operating revenue from US and European markets amounted to 64% of the total business revenues (Annual Report, 2009 – 2010).
In other words, the lack of Oracle presence in Asian marketplace can be considered as the weakness of the company due to the fact that the role of Asian businesses are growing in the international business arena, at the same time when US and European countries are faced with serious financial issues.
Moreover, heavy reliance on partnerships and alliances rather than direct market entry in terms of engaging in international market expansion limits the level of Oracle control of international operations.
There is range of opportunities to be used by Oracle in order to achieve long-term growth. These opportunities include increasing the presence of the company in Chinese and Indian markets, increasing the market share of the company through the growth of global enterprise software market, and generating additional solid revenue for the company in the future through increasing the level of investment on the development of virtualisation software programs.
Moreover, the company can achieve long-term growth through sophisticating its data storage services taking into account dramatically increasing demand for this type of service, and also research and development initiatives can be launched with the aim of developing innovative business applications for various types of devices and in this way increasing the level of revenue stream of the company.
A set of specific threats have to be addressed by Oracle Corporation effectively in order to achieve sustainable growth in the future. The major threat for the company is the emergence of new competitors from China, India or any other evolving superpowers from the East. This is because Oracle would find it challenging to compete with such a competitor on prices taking into account the access of competitors to considerably cheaper resources, including human resources in China and India.
Moreover, according to Wall Street Journal (2000, online) Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is known for using ‘dirty tricks’ that included hiring people to examine the garbage from Microsoft with the aims of finding any evidences against their wrongdoing. There is a threat that such tactics might be repeated in the future and which might result in company image being damaged.
- Annual Report 2009 – 2010, Oracle Corporation
- Burrow, JL. (2008) “Marketing” Cengage Learning
- Oracle Lab (2011) Available at: http://labs.oracle.com/projects/ Accessed November, 8, 2011