However, adept management is required to manage the deluge that comes with big data and its varied solutions—not only in terms of volume but also variety, velocity, and veracity. “Rather than focusing on the size of the data, business users should focus on the scale of the big problems that they need to solve,” Khanna said. “Data volumes, sources, and variety will keep increasing with time. IT and data-savvy users struggle with getting value out of big data projects because, despite the volume of data captured, data is unreliable, siloed, and unrelated. Once you build a reliable data foundation by bringing data together from all sources, matching, merging and cleaning it to ensure quality, relevant insights can be drawn from big data.”
Some vendors are reporting difficulties as a result of product shifts from Oracle. Reporting data “in a meaningful and useful format from the Oracle E-Business Suite can be challenging,” said Dean Jones, global vice president of Oracle EBS Solutions for Excel4apps. “The complexity of underlying Oracle data structures leaves average users dependent on IT or consulting resources to access and report on data they need, affecting report timeliness and accuracy.” Oracle’s discontinuation of premium support for Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer also has made things difficult, Jones added. “Oracle discontinued premium support for Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer, a commonly used reporting tool, in June 2015 and recommended that users migrate to the Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite, which includes Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, or OBIEE,” said Jones. However, OBIEE adds a great deal of complexity to BI reporting, he continued. “Implementation and the ongoing support costs and expertise needed for running OBIEE aren’t a possibility for all companies.” Discoverer’s demise and OBIEE’s complexity have actually created a window in the market for third-party tools, Jones said.
Is cloud a natural next move for Oracle-related vendors as they advance into the big data realm? Many vendors think so. “Cloud adoption is a natural next step in Oracle users’ technology strategies,” said Walt Rossi, vice president of business development at Five9, which provides a cloud contact center solution integrated to Oracle Service Cloud. “Businesses previously had questions and concerns about the cloud, but reliability, security, and scalability apprehensions are minimized with Oracle’s drive to the cloud.”
Oracle Cloud’s varied services, which feature the cloud-aware Oracle 12c Database that enables movement of applications between clouds and on-premises systems, make up “a revolutionary concept that offers the advantages of managing many databases as one, yet retains the isolation and resource control of separate databases,” said Meenakshi Krishnamoorthy, general manager at Mindtree. Krishnamoorthy also lauded the features of Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c, which “provides a single console window to manage the entire cloud infrastructure and applications deployed in Oracle Cloud,” along with automation capabilities.
The rise of the cloud is creating a new set of challenges for ecosystem vendors—such as the handling of existing on-premise installations, and deciding when to make the cutover. “The simple fact remains that enterprises need to continue using their existing databases,” said Ken Rugg, CEO of Tesora. “Despite the strength of public cloud database offerings like Amazon Relational Database Service, incumbent database providers remain in a good position to defend their respective installed bases and extend them with database as a service. At the same time, there are more database choices than ever before and the cloud is making those accessible to developers, which means that now Oracle, and every other database vendor, needs to consider how its technology fits alongside others.”
For example, Rugg continued, “it’s possible with database as a service using OpenStack, for both Oracle 12c and 11g to be deployed—along with a choice of 13 other different databases—while routine tasks like provisioning, and managing regular administrative tasks like clustering, replication, backup, and restore are handled in a simple, unified way. Oracle’s embrace of cloud is providing enterprises with lots of good choices for deploying their database.”
This is making the jobs of Oracle partners even more complicated, however. Oracle Cloud customers need to be able to manage what can quickly become a mixed bag of processes and technologies and to engineer integration between them so they all work together seamlessly, said Singh.