Ellison Changes Tune, Cloud Hate Turns to True Love

By Doug Barney September 25, 2013

Five years ago at an Oracle shareholders meeting, Larry Ellison had nothing good to say about the cloud. “I think it's ludicrous that cloud computing is going to take over the world. But they get very excited about it, and it's this big echo chamber,” he said, calling the cloud “the Webvan of computing.”

He also blasted Salesforce.com, founded by former Oracle exec Marc Benioff, saying it was “barely profitable.”

“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?” Ellison asked.

Tin the very same speech, Ellison admitted Oracle had no choice but to embrace this thing called the cloud. “We'll make cloud computing announcements because, you know, if orange is the new pink, we'll make orange blouses. I mean, I'm not gonna fight this thing ... well, maybe we'll do an ad. Uh, I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing, other than market ... you know, change the wording on some of our ads.”

Five years later at Oracle Openworld, the company announced no less than 10 new cloud services. Ellison himself was supposed to do the unveiling but chose instead to watch his sailboat race team compete in the America’s Cup, a race which is currently tied. The crazy thing is both Openworld and America’s Cup are taking place in San Francisco. Seems like Larry could have made both.

And how is Salesforce faring a half decade after Ellison’s brutal takedown? In its latest quarter the company pulled in $957 billion in revenue, a run rate of round about $4 billion and an increase of 34 percent compared to the same period last year. And it pulled in a heckuva lot of cash with an operating cash flow of $183 million, also up 34 percent compared to last year’s quarter.

Oracle’s New Cloud Play

The 10 new services are all part of Oracle Cloud, an integrated portfolio of services. The new additions are in the areas of Application, Platform, and Infrastructure Services. The cloud already comes equipped with SaaS apps that include Customer Experience, Enterprise Resource Management, and Human Capital Management. These apps all include mobile, social and business intelligence functions.

These tools can be installed in-house, as part of a private cloud, and public clouds including Oracle Cloud.

So far there are some nine million users representing some 19 billion transactions.

Partners can hook up through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Cloud programs.

The 10 new services are, Oracle says:

  • Compute Cloud: Enables customers to leverage elastic compute capabilities to run any workload in the cloud. It is secure, enterprise-grade, fully configurable and provides robust monitoring capabilities.
  • Object Storage Cloud: Provides users with a highly-available, redundant, and secure object store for persisting large amounts of unstructured data.
  • Database Cloud: Provides full control of a dedicated database instance and supports any Oracle Database application, giving users greater flexibility and choice over the level of managed services provided by Oracle.
  • Java Cloud: Provides Oracle WebLogic Server clusters for deployment of Java applications and gives full administrative control over the service with automated backup, recovery, patching and high availability capabilities.
  • Business Intelligence Cloud: Enables users to analyze data with visual, interactive dashboards for the Web and mobile devices. Provides self-service data loading, modeling, analysis, and application administration capabilities in the cloud without the assistance of IT.
  • Documents Cloud: Provides a flexible, self-service file sharing and collaboration solution with mobile and desktop sync, robust security, and integration with on-premise and cloud applications.
  • Mobile Cloud: Simplifies enterprise mobile connectivity, enabling enterprises to build any application, for any device connected to any data source with enterprise-grade security.
  • Database Backup Cloud: Enables businesses to back up Oracle Databases to the Oracle Cloud.  Also allows replication of backups from the Oracle Database Backup Logging Recovery Appliance to Oracle Cloud.
  • Billing and Revenue Management Cloud: Enables enterprises with robust and highly scalable subscription billing to capture recurring revenues from new services.
  • Cloud Marketplace: Provides a global marketplace where partners can publish applications and customers can browse through and discover new solutions to address their business needs.



Edited by Rory J. Thompson

TechZone360 Editor at Large

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