Larry Ellison Wants Your Identity

Let me get this straight. Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) , a $100 billion company that makes its living tracking information for customers, doesn't want anyone peeking into your private life? Oh, irony, how I adore thee.

Actually, there's more at work here than pure entertainment. Trade journal InfoWorld reports that Ellison and his team have come up with a software-driven process that could make it harder for digital snoops to make their way into business systems.

It's called the Identity Governance Framework, or IGF, if you're among the acronym-wielding Silicon Valley set. The idea is to create "contracts" between databases and software applications that govern customer relationships, human resources, or similarly critical functions. Think of it as a passport for data; sensitive information is allowed only where it belongs and nowhere else.

Plenty of Oracle's partners like the approach, including CA (NYSE: CA  ) , Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL  ) , and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW  ) . Privately held Ping Identity and Securent are also reportedly on board with the effort, which will ultimately be handed to a standards body for clarification when the technology is ready for the mainstream.

As an Oracle investor, I'm pleased to see this sort of effort. But I'm even more pleased by the details of how all this came to pass. You see, InfoWorld reports that IGF grew out of technology acquired in at least two separate transactions.

That's remarkably encouraging, since future stock returns are entirely dependent on the success of Oracle pulling together a workable platform from technology acquired from PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, Retek, and others.

In April, Oracle software chief John Wookey told RedHerring.com that the first version of the converged platform of business software, dubbed "Fusion," would be ready in 2008. Analysts and reporters alike have since scoffed at Wookey's optimism. With outstanding financials, reasonable compensation, and now an integration success with IGF, it may be Wookey and Ellison who end up laughing. All the way to the bank.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers, ranked 2,481 out of 14,528 in Motley Fool CAPS, owns shares of Oracle. Get the skinny on everything else Tim is invested in by checking his Fool profile. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is intelligence for your portfolio.


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