Oracle’s purchase of Micros takes me back to my old hospitality days by Jon Hansen

Posted on June 24, 2014


A long time ago, in a galaxy (okay lifetime) far, far away . . .

As soon as I heard the news that Oracle was expanding its reach into the hospitality business through its $5.3 billion purchase of Columbia, Maryland-based Micros, I was immediately reminded of a fellow by the name of Joe Finizio.

Joe was the Micros representative who flew to Toronto shortly after I moved to Canada’s version of the city that never sleeps.  His goal was to tap into my expertise relative to linking front-end electronic cash registers to the back-end computers that ran what was at the time considered groundbreaking software technology.

Joe was duly impressed with what we had accomplished in terms of actual implementation successes and invited us to fly into Maryland to meet with the Micros development team.  The hope was that a formal arrangement could be reached relative to our using the Micros front-end units with the back-end PCs that hosted the Fisher Business System restaurant application.

Micros 2700

While we never could reach a lasting agreement relative to working together, I really liked Joe and his enthusiasm for the Micros product, which was second only to his passion for flying small planes.  I of course lost track of Joe and am not sure how long he remained with the company – perhaps he is still there 30 plus years later.  However, I remember thinking that if a company could instill in their employees this much passion for their product, then Micros will be around for a long time.  Of course I would never have imagined that one day the company would be acquired for billions of dollars, let alone by an Oracle.

This brings us back to the here and now.

Ironically, I share the same enthusiasm for this deal as the majority of industry analysts.

For example, I could not agree more with Michael Fauschette’s assessment of the proposed purchase being “a solid expansion of an already strong retail offering for Oracle.”

The only concern I have is whether or not Oracle will screw things up by seeking to assimilate Micros into its culture, as opposed to capitalizing on its core or indigenous strengths.  In its purchase of Emptoris, IBM recognized that company’s core competency and allowed it to develop within the IBM framework while still maintaining its original vision.  Hopefully Oracle will do the same.

Regardless of how things roll out, one thing is certain . . . the summer just got a lot more interesting!


Posted in: Commentary