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Friday, February 13, 2009

My Life in Oracle, an Interview with Paul Kurt Howard

In the first of a series of Q&A sessions offering an insight into the working life of an Oracle EMEA employee, we talk to Paul Norris, Director IDM - EMEA Middleware Solutions Specialist Team. He is based in the UK.

1 How long have you worked at Oracle, in what capacity did you join and what is your current role?

5 years in March 2009. I joined Oracle as a Senior Sales Manager. My current role is Director IDM - EMEA Middleware Solutions Specialist Team.

2 How did you find yourself working at Oracle?

From the Oblix acquisition, our entry point into the Identity and Access Management (IAM) space.

3 What is it about Oracle that keeps you working here? What is it you enjoy about Oracle?

The variety, challenges and the success. For example, I lead the Oblix acquisition integration and all subsequent acquisitions in the IAM space.

4 What qualities and characteristics would you say Oracle look for in its potential employees?

Team player, committed, confident, flexible, able to take initiative, sense of fun and humour

5 How would you describe the Oracle culture?

Mature start-up! Whilst there is structure, systems and processes in place we are able to develop the business in a highly flexible environment of collaboration and co-operation. "Blue Sky" is over used but we do Blue Sky and some of the ideas actually work.

6 How would you say Oracle motivates its employees to be even more successful than they already are?

From my perspective, a very open relationship with my line management. Ability to work in a collaborative way across lines of business at all levels. Seniority/rank not being barriers to getting things done.

7 What opportunities can Oracle provide for its staff?

The size of Oracle and the way in which it is organised presents many opportunities for personal and career development.

8 How does Oracle support its staff?

Flexible working, such as being home based. This helps with work/life balance. This is a win-win as watching the clock is not something that enters my mind...if I need to be on call or travelling out of hours its not a problem. Likewise if I need to do personal errands during "working hours", these are accommodated.

9 What advice would you give to someone embarking on a career with Oracle?

Be open-minded, get used to "self service" systems, speak up, engage, contribute (even if the idea might seem crazy!), stay focused (can be difficult when spinning lots of plates) and enjoy yourself!

10 How would you summarise your experience at Oracle?

Challenging, exciting, demanding, rewarding and fun.

Thanks Paul, for giving us this opportunity to talk to you about your life in Oracle.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle EMEA Recruitment Team for the past two plus years and can be contacted at


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