CoreNet: Oracle Outlines Alternative Workplace Strategies for M&A

With 65 acquisitions over the last five and a half years, Oracle Corp. has repeatedly found itself called upon to make real estate decisions.

PHOENIX – With 65 acquisitions over the last five and a half years, Oracle Corp. has repeatedly found itself called upon to make real estate decisions. Today at CoreNet’s Global Summit, two Oracle representatives outlined the process.

Key to Oracle’s real estate strategy is the implementation of alternative workplace methods to lessen space needs. The company has a total of 26 million square feet in its portfolio, with 6.1 million subleased or on the market.

“We’ve been dabbling in trying to reduce and use space more efficiently for some time,” Oracle central area facility director Patti Kluth said. “We have four different space allocations: remote worker, mobile center, hoteling, and the standard workplace.” Hoteling is similar to the standard workplace, but with fewer requirements.

In provisioning space, the company observes workers, evaluates their requirements, and allocates accordingly. Kluth described Oracle’s approach as a four-step process: simplify, standardize, centralize and automate.

“It really has to be a balance of the employee’s requirements and the cost saved,” she said. “We can’t just attempt to change an employee’s behaviors (due to space constraints) and expect them to change.”

That said, she added that the greatest cost savings come from alternatives to physical growth. That’s where Oracle’s flexible work program comes in, with mobile centers and remote workers accounting for nearly a quarter of the firm’s employees.

Area facility manager Stewart Flemming outlined the means by which Oracle prepares for mergers and acquisitions: identifying shadow vacancy, implementing regular reporting and appropriate audits, making a plan of record, partnering with business units, creating flexible environments, reducing or eliminating dedicated work areas, and reviewing and updating real esetate and facilities standards.

“During the acquisition process, the secret is to get in there and get things done,” Flemming said. “Oracle does. We act and we act swiftly.”

Oracle’s online offerings are a major component of its swift action. The company has a complete portal site covering all needs of employees and contractors. “We get it out there,” Flemming said. “We track it every 30 days. We have quarterly reports. We audit our space quarterly. We report it back to senior management. … Being prepared is key to everything. It’s just essential.”