There were many highlights to the 2013 version of OpenWorld. Perhaps the biggest highlight was the fact that Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, blew off presenting to over 50,000 of his customers to watch his America’s Cup sailing vessel win its seventh consecutive race to tie the Kiwi team 8-8. The next day, the Americans completed the second-greatest comeback in US sports history to retain the America’s Cup. (I say “second-greatest” since, as a matter of record, anyone living anywhere near the Northeast of the US must consider the 2004 comeback of the Boston Red Sox from a 0-3 deficit to defeat the hated NY Yankees the biggest comeback — if anyone on the sailboat had a bloody sock, it might be close, but in New England the Sox must always be considered #1.) So congratulations to Larry Ellison, he can add that trophy to his other collections on Lanai, his private Hawaiian island.
What about the rest of the show? Well, I think the other notable piece of news was that Oracle went to the Cloud in a big way. Historically, Oracle has talked the talk of cloud but had avoided rolling out cloud services, the same way a Red Sox fan might avoid talking about Babe Ruth during the MLB playoffs. At OpenWorld 2013 though, Oracle released 10 new cloud services. Didn’t think Oracle was serious about the cloud? Well it appears they are. In fact, I’m surprised Ellison didn’t buy the airspace over top of the Moscone and have “Oracle” written in the clouds.
The below are the 10 cloud services launched by Oracle:
- Cloud marketplace — A cloud where partners can publish Oracle-based applications
- Compute cloud — An elastic compute service for running workloads in the cloud
- Database cloud — A no-brainer for Oracle. Gives customers full database capabilities and flexible pricing
- Database backup cloud — Customers can use this to backup Oracle databases into the cloud. Should be popular, as backup is something very few companies do well
- Object storage cloud — A secure, resilient object store for unstructured data
- Java cloud — Oracle WebLogic Server clusters can utilize this for Java applications
- Mobile cloud — Gives customers the ability to build any application to run on any device and connect to any data source in a secure, scalable way
- Billing and revenue management cloud — Gives enterprises the ability to build a scalable subscription billing application for new services
- Business intelligence cloud — Provides data analysis with an interactive, visual interface. (Ellison can use this to analyze which island to buy next.)
- Documents cloud — A self-service file sharing collaboration solution, with mobile and desktop sync
The Oracle cloud services are designed to interoperate with Oracle premise-based software, giving customers application and data portability across the various deployment times, including premise-based private cloud, private cloud, and public cloud — a veritable cornucopia of choices for the wide range of Oracle customers.
The other advantage of the Oracle clouds will be interoperability between the various clouds. Using the broad range of clouds, it’s conceivable that even the largest organizations could migrate their current application development lifecycle to the Oracle cloud. This would include development, backup, management, billing, and analytics. Given the massive install base that Oracle has, the company should be able to leverage its data position and rapidly become one of the most dominant cloud providers.
The downside, of course, is that it’s all Oracle — and not everyone wants to use all things Oracle. The company has shown a tendency over the past year to be more partner- and ecosystem-friendly, as per previous blog entries on Oracle’s partnerships with SAP and Microsoft. If Oracle continues down this path of being a friendlier, more partner-friendly company, any fear customers may have about being locked into Oracle should somewhat be alleviated.
While it’s fair to say Oracle was late to the cloud game, they certainly came to the market in a big way, and are here to stay.