Oracle customers can switch between cloud and on-premise at the click of a button. At least according to Larry Ellison in his first keynote as chief technology officer.
The former CEO, whose successors, Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, inherited his mantle two weeks ago, took repeated potshots at rivals SAP, Workday and Salesforce as he outlined Oracle’s cloud applications and strategy at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 yesterday.
Claiming Oracle Cloud provided everything customers would need, he said Oracle’s goal was to avoid being pigeonholed in what they do as a cloud provider in ways that Salesforce and Amazon are.
Addressing the audience at the firm’s OpenWorld confernce in San Francisco, Ellison said: "[We wanted a] complete and integrated platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service. We couldn’t simply be a specialist in SaaS (Software-as-a-service) apps like a Salesforce.com, we couldn’t simply be a specialist in infrastructure services like an Amazon.com."
He called Workday "missing in action", before claiming Oracle Cloud beats Amazon and Google on price.
He then boasted that his firm is the number two competitor to Salesforce in the Saas space, despite his former exec Marc Benioff’s company being in the business for 15 years.
"At the SaaS layer we are a player in applications in the cloud, with by far the largest portfolio of Saas apps, more than anybody," he said. "We bought a lot more in 2014 [and] we have a build and buy strategy to increase our portfolio in the cloud."
He pointed to 2,181 new cloud customers in the last 12 months and 725 new Fusion Saas customers.
But the biggest aspect of Oracle Cloud is customers’ alleged ability to switch their applications between on-premise and cloud by simply pressing a button.
Ellison said: "This new Oracle in the cloud allows you to move any database from your data centre to the cloud by pushing a button, that’s it. You don’t change a line of code, you change nothing. Furthermore, any application on that database, you press a second button and that moves to the cloud on our new 2014 upgraded platform.
"The fascinating thing, you can move it back. We’re the only cloud that gives you a choice. You don’t like our prices? You can run it on-premise. You have choices."
This lies in contrast to SAP customers’ long argument with the firm to abolish on-premise licensing fees when they switch to the cloud, he claimed
However, CBR understands that while the technology to make such a switch is there, Oracle customers may experience a longer transition due to the difficulties around differences in the on-premise and cloud payment models, changing licensing agreements into subscription fees.
CBR will look into that further over the coming days to try and get more details, but Ellison could not resist the opportunity to make a jibe about SAP’s marketing.
"’HANA powers the cloud’. Whose cloud? What are they talking about?,"the 70-year-old laughed. "I have no idea who runs on HANA, but their cloud runs on Oracle."
Later he added: "What cloud? Where? Lets just talk about Earth."
Explaining why it has taken Oracle some time to move significantly into the cloud space, he simply said "it’s hard", referring to the firm’s efforts to replicate all on-premise software and Database 12c in the cloud identically.
That will become available before October arrives, while we should see some more detail on all the offerings emerge in the next few days.
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