Hologic and Oracle: A Brief History

Who Are Hologic?

Last week, Oracle's Stephen Colebourne posted a blog encouraging the community not to vote for Hologic, who Oracle have nominated in the place of concurrency expert Doug Lea. The crux of his arguement was that the community Hologic would represent have little idea of who Hologic actually is. So, who are Hologic?

Clearly, they are a company with close ties to Oracle. One of the reasons Colebourne gave for dissuading community members from voting for Hologic was that, in Hologic's statement regarding their nomination, the company referenced their "systems built on or extended from Java platforms," and then named Oracle's E-Business Suite specifically. "Do Hologic deserve to decide the future of Java because they use an Oracle product?" Stephen Colebourne asked. He claims that Hologic and Oracle's close relationship can be uncovered by a quick Google search. So, taking up his challenge, who are Hologic, and what have they got to do with Oracle?

Hologic develop, manufacture and supply medical imaging systems dedicated to women's healthcare, in addition to developing their own digital imaging technology for general radiography and mammography applications. A Google search does reveal numerous joint press releases and videos concerning Oracle and Hologic's work together. These include a video entitled 'Hologic and Oracle: Leading in Women's Health Care,' which looks at Hologic's success within the sphere of women's healthcare, with the aid of Oracle's product line. The video was uploaded by Oracle.

Back in 2002, Hologic turned to Oracle for a more disciplined supply chain process that would provide a solution to the stockpiles of parts and finished goods that had collected at their major plants. They named this project "One Hologic Implementing Oracle." The initiative saw Hologic tally up a $4.4 million investment in the new Oracle system. The end result was an implementation of Oracle E-Business Suite, and systems spanning three major plants, consolidated on Oracle Manufacturing. According to reports, Hologic reduced the backlog of parts and raw materials at the Bedford facility from $800,000 to $65,000, and reduced the average time parts wait for assembly at the facility from four and a half months, to seven days. According to Omnion Consulting "an independent firm documented that Hologic Inc. saved $3.5 million (after netting out the cost of the project) by implementing the Oracle e-Business Suite." And, Hologic officials were full of praise for Oracle: "From a purchasing and planning perspective, the Oracle modules have enabled significant efficiencies," said Bill Ryan, senior buyer and planner with Hologic. "The Oracle module sup­plies detailed information that can be sorted in a variety of ways that was not possible with our previous system." Steve DeCrane, controller of Hologic's European region joined him, stating "the Oracle implementation is allowing Hologic to refine our system and business process to better meet the needs of external as well as internal parties."

Oracle's Adam Messinger has posted a response to Stephen Colebourne's original accusation, stating that the interests of Java developers "at small and mid-size companies like Hologic" are currently under-represented on the JCP, in comparison to the interests of technologists, technology vendors, and parities interested in standards. Unlike those who supply Java, Hologic are a consumer who could have opted for another programming language, but who decided to back Java. "We think having their perspective on the EC is valuable," says Adam Messinger.

This mirrors Oracle's Jeb Dasteel's recent post to the JUG Leaders mailing list, in which he gave the reason behind Hologic's nomination as an attempt to "inject some much needed Java end-user and business perspective into the Executive Committee, as opposed to standards, technologist, technology vendor, and developer community perspectives - all of which are already well represented."

Adam Messinger goes on to discuss the other target of Stephen Colebourne's blog: Sam Pullara. Originally, Stephen Colebourne encouraged the community to cast their vote against Pullara, as him and Adam Messinger founded the startup Gauntlet Systems Corporation together, and are closely linked on Twitter. However, following a statement by Sam Pullara ("I can state categorically that I did not speak to Adam about the JCP elections and that I added myself to the list because I love Java and have been doing JSR work for 10 years. I can assure everyone that I am only interested in seeing Java be successful") Colebourne withdrew his recommendation for the community not to vote for Pullara. Although, he stands by his decision not to vote for Pullara himself.

Adam Messinger re-iterates that he did not speak to Pullara about running for the JCP, but lends his support to the idea: "I do think he would be an excellent candidate due to his sharp technical mind, strong opinions, and love of Java." Finally, he directly addresses the suspicion that Oracle were trying to influence the upcoming JSR vote with their nominations, citing their re-nomination of RedHat and Apache as speaking "volumes" about their interest in keeping the JCP diverse. He reveals that he encouraged Google's Josh Block to renominate himself.

Jessica Thornsby

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