Future in ‘clouds’: Oracle wants to expand relationship with Montana

2013-09-18T00:00:00Z Future in ‘clouds’: Oracle wants to expand relationship with MontanaBy Charles S. Johnson of The Standard State Bureau Montana Standard

Oracle, one of the nation’s largest corporations, looks forward to expanding its “special relationship” with Montana and its universities, its president, Safra Catz, told the Montana Economic Development Summit as the two-day event wrapped up Tuesday at Montana Tech.

Oracle announced in October 2011 it was purchasing RightNow Technologies in Bozeman for $1.5 billion.

“We focus our investment in cloud services in Montana,” Catz said. “Why Montana? It’s really, really simple: employees are our company. There’s been absolutely wonderful work done by Montana Tech and Montana State University (graduates). I will tell you that those people are running our groups.”

Last year, Oracle bought the Bozeman software-development company RightNow Technologies, which employs about 1,100 people.

Oracle’s business in Bozeman handles all the accounting of Oracle’s cloud-related business, which is the company’s fastest growing

sector. Cloud is an online network that allows people to save, share and access digital files from anywhere.

“What’s wonderful about Montana?” Catz asked. “I know I’ve got great people. I don’t have to worry about a civil war breaking out on the borders. I don’t have to worry about working conditions.”

Catz was one of the keynote speakers Tuesday on the final day of the summit, which is organized and sponsored by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The event attracted some 4,000 people to the Montana Tech campus for two days of panels, speakers and networking on business development in the state.

She said she hopes Oracle’s cloud center in Bozeman will be like the anchor tenant that attracts other high-tech businesses there. A startup company already has moved to Bozeman from California.

“There may be no better working conditions on the planet than September in Montana,” Catz said.

Catz also emphasized the need for the United States to continue to protect intellectual property, citing the copyright provision of the U.S. Constitution.

Jim McNerney, chairman and CEO of Boeing, also used the conference to announce a $35 million expansion of its manufacturing plant in Helena and the hiring of 20-25 new employees.

McNerney also called for federal tax reform, a frequent theme of corporate executives at the summit. Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is leading an effort to overhaul the federal tax code before he retires when his term ends in 2014.

McNerney told the summit that the U.S. corporate tax rate, which at 35 percent, is the highest in the industrialized world by 10 percentage points.

Corporations would like to reduce corporate tax rates, McNerney said, but Boeing, and perhaps others, are willing to give up multiple tax preferences to achieve the goal of lower rates.

“We recognize that everyone will have to give a little bit to get … in the end zone, for tax reform,” he said. “We all admire your senior senator’s strong-minded efforts to make something happen, in the time that he has left in office … and there is little time left. The ranks of bridge-builders in Congress seem to be thinning with every election.”

Overhauling the U.S. tax system could spur higher economic growth and create more higher-wage jobs, he said.

Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally told the crowd he believes the United States is on the verge of a renaissance of manufacturing.

“Companies are about as well-positioned as they will be in decades,” he said.

Meg Whitman, president and CEO of HP, formerly Hewlett-Packard, speaking by video, said the company will be working with four- and two-year Montana colleges and universities, including tribal colleges, to expand opportunities for entrepreneurship in the state.

HP will work with interested leaders and faculty to integrate its HP LIFE e-Learning initiative into the colleges and universities, Whitman said. It has the potential “to make a positive difference in job creation and grow healthy local economies,” she said.

The summit was the sixth economic development event organized by Baucus and his staff since 2000.

“I was inspired to see so many Montanans from every corner of the state gather in Butte to focus on jobs,” Baucus said. “While the summit is over, this is really just the start. We have a lot of work ahead, and the key to making this really work will be the follow up and follow through.”

Baucus said he will be checking for progress and encouraged people to reach out if they need help cutting red tape.

“We really are on the cusp of a major breakthrough when it comes to Montana jobs, and the level of interest summit is evidence,” he said.

Montana Chamber of Commerce President Webb Brown said in an interview that a big goal of the conference is to create networking opportunities to help develop business opportunities in the state.

“It’s not just come and sit and listen to speakers,” Brown said. “It’s to actually get some things done.”

The high-profile speakers are “the attractant to get the people (to the conference) who are going to make some deals,” he said.

“That’s the inspiration,” Brown said. “The people who are making the contracts – that’s the perspiration. That’s what we want out of this: What actually helped to allow you to add one more person to the payroll.”

Copyright 2015 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. Lucas Beauchamp
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    Lucas Beauchamp - September 19, 2013 10:35 am
    Wrong again, nothing to do with acting. Try again.
  2. Restore_the_Republic
    Report Abuse
    Restore_the_Republic - September 19, 2013 9:35 am
    Oh, he is a black actor. Thanks for letting me know. You see, ,my education in the sciences, not the arts. If you would like to talk about quantum mechanics, relativity, and some of the proposed hypothesis that hold these together (e.g. string theory, dark matter), I'd be more than happy to take this offline and have a conversation with you. I will teach you how the moon's gravity affects the ocean so you'll finally know why there is a tide. That might make your sailing endeavours a little more enjoyable. Okay, enough of that. You'd better get back to your movies.
  3. Granite Man
    Report Abuse
    Granite Man - September 18, 2013 10:45 pm
    Yo ho! Yo ho! The pirate life's fer me! Me smells delusion in the air! Argh!!
  4. Lucas Beauchamp
    Report Abuse
    Lucas Beauchamp - September 18, 2013 9:27 pm
    Thanks for the entertainment in the form of the ad hominim attack. Still haven't figured out the French thing as well-Drifter knows who Lucas Beauchamp was. It would once again appear that your education is deficient. And by the way, the passion is sailing-doesn't have anything to do with visas, business. or you.
  5. Restore_the_Republic
    Report Abuse
    Restore_the_Republic - September 18, 2013 8:43 pm
    "If you would spend less time worrying about Oracle and more time addressing these issues in your own backyard you might have better success advancing your agenda, which has some good points."
    Hey, thanks for that. But what does my own backyard (Butte, which I am very proud to call home) have to do with Oracle filing for H-1B visas? Gosh Beauchamp, are you writing from France or something? H-1B visas affects not just Montana, but America and especially my children's future. I don't have anything more to say about that, so let's move on to your next statement.
    "And by the way, I've met Larry Ellison, suffice to say we have the same passion."
    Good for you Lucas. You have the same passion in that you are a narcissist who would sell your employee's blood? And make $92 million in profit and buy a Hawaiian island, yet not give your employees a raise. Are you proud to admit that you are that type of a person, Lucas? If so, I recommend you stay out of Butte. Speaking on behalf of the entire town, you're not welcome here. You might be able to arrange a dinner with Dennis Washington or Bob Gannon if you aren't just really having a pipe dream, but you're just a bit too egotistical for my backyard.
  6. Lucas Beauchamp
    Report Abuse
    Lucas Beauchamp - September 18, 2013 6:41 pm
    If you would spend less time worrying about Oracle and more time addressing these issues in your own backyard you might have better success advancing your agenda, which has some good points. And by the way, I've met Larry Ellison, suffice to say we have the same passion.
  7. Restore_the_Republic
    Report Abuse
    Restore_the_Republic - September 18, 2013 6:12 pm
    Based on Oracle's past performance and their CEO's survival of the fittest methodologies, I disagree with you. Larry Ellison would sell his employee's blood if he could. I have 4 friends who work for Oracle right now, so I know what I'm talking about. Who do you know at Oracle, Lucas?
  8. Lucas Beauchamp
    Report Abuse
    Lucas Beauchamp - September 18, 2013 5:18 pm
    Enough of the abstract talking points. The H-1B visas are used extensively in Ennis and West Yellowstone because local, small business owners cannot find staff for the tourist season. The workers are paid minimum wage and are provided with housing as part of their employment package.

    I have talked with business owners about why the local young people are not working these jobs. I have been told repeatedly that they are not interested in working them, essentially refusing. My how things have changed.

    Many of these workers are not Anglo, most are thankful for the work, and most have no interest in staying in the U.S.

    The idea that these workers are displacing local workers is pure, absolute FOLLY!
  9. acommoner
    Report Abuse
    acommoner - September 18, 2013 10:17 am
    Did anyone ask when is the USA going to adopt a policy of Fair Free Trade? Where all imports allowed into the USA market must meet at least ALL minimum USA production/providing standards of: quality, safety, health, environment, and wages of the USA market. Fair Free Trade - where other nations would be Free to choose if they want to meet our requirements and standards. Free to chose if they want to export to the USA market. If they want to pay their worker a Fair wage to increase their workers disposable incomes to be able to buy more Montana products. The key to stable and sustainable recovery in the USA is Fair Free Trade. Is the return of manufacturing (maker) jobs to the USA. We do not need fewer domestic regulations and/or requirements, or more tariffs, quotas and stimulus programs. We only need a level playing field for the US American unskilled worker, producer/provider (Whose wealth has been decreasing the last decade while owner/manager wealth has been increasing over 400%.) to compete on for the USA market Go to: http: www. manifestry .info > Trade
  10. Restore_the_Republic
    Report Abuse
    Restore_the_Republic - September 18, 2013 8:20 am
    Hmm. Interesting. Recently, Oracle applied for a total of 605 special visas, for the purpose of importing foreign workers to Bozeman to work at the former RightNow campus. You can download the information from the US Government’s visa website. I reached out to the Oracle media department to seek more information about these applications, but have received no reply.

    The type of visas that Oracle applied for are known as an H-1B visa. H-1Bs are highly controversial and mightily opposed by workers-rights advocates in America, including organized labor and many members of Congress. Companies use these visas to import foreign temporary workers without any chance of a path to citizenship and often for the purpose of simply saving money, since the worker can usually be paid less than an equivalent American worker.

    That said, I believe Safra Catz is a sleazy, pathological liar. Good day, fellow Montanans.

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