However, not all Oracle-watchers see promise in the new 12c release. “Oracle’s not known for being the technology company you turn to for cost-savings, and their launch of Oracle 12c will be no different,” says Sean Doherty, vice president of business development for EnterpriseDB, which provides enterprise products and services based on the open source database PostgreSQL. “Oracle will figure out how to leverage mobile data and big data needs, but rest assured, their solutions will come with a price—a very high price,” he warns.
Cloud-enabled databases isn’t the only strategy Oracle is pursuing in this new era of disruption. Along with releasing products configured for the cloud, Oracle is also partnering with the leading platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, and software as a service vendors. For example, Microsoft Corp. and Oracle have formed a partnership that will enable customers to run Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Customers will be able to deploy Oracle software—including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle Web- Logic Server—on Windows Server Hyper- V or in Windows Azure and receive full support from Oracle.
In addition, Oracle also forged an agreement with Salesforce.com to standardize on the Oracle Linux operating system, Exadata engineered systems, the Oracle Database, and Java Middleware Platform. Oracle plans to integrate Salesforce.com with Oracle’s Fusion HCM and Financial Cloud, and provide the core technology to power Salesforce.com’s applications and platform. Salesforce.com will also implement Oracle’s Fusion HCM and Financial cloud applications throughout the company.
Oracle business partners see these new high-level alliances as positive moves for the IT giant and its customers. The partnerships “were a surprise to many, but will definitely add more options for Oracle clients,” says Federico. In the process, Oracle is also engaged in “fence mending with former foes” as it shifts its focus to subscription- based software versus on-premises software, says Bhatt. This transition is
“forced in part by nimbler cloud-computing rivals including Salesforce,” he adds. Mallinath Sengupta, senior vice president at global service provider MphasiS (an HP company), believes the arrangement opens the door to additional opportunities as well. For example, Sengupta says, while Salesforce Chatter is tightly integrated with Salesforce CRM, this alliance should take that relationship a step further by integrating this platform within the Oracle Fusion product line. “This would enable for a seamless enterprise social collaboration between the front and back office users utilizing the different products.”
Salesforce customers will also benefit from Oracle’s enterprise-centric tools as well. “Analytics, which has traditionally been a weak point for Salesforce, would also be of extreme benefit to Salesforce customers thanks to Oracle BI’s renowned reputation,” says Sengupta. In the process, “Salesforce has created an opportunity to move from the cloud to on-premise and penetrate the customer base that is still concerned about moving into the public cloud,” he adds. Salesforce may have also been looking at the threat of rapid, in-memory processing offered by SAP through its HANA platform. “Exadata comes with in-memory processing, so Salesforce can effectively offset any threat that may arise due to SAP HANA for CRM,” Sengupta notes.
Oracle’s moves are in line with
its long-term corporate goal of becoming
a comprehensive solution provider.
Business partners also see Oracle’s olive branches to longtime rival Microsoft as a source of advantage for customers running Oracle products on top of Microsoft platforms. EnterpriseDB’s Doherty views the Microsoft partnership “as a way for Oracle’s software to be on a cloud without Oracle having to invest in a real cloud platform.” Oracle has been wary about cloud computing for years, but is now realizing that enterprises are serious about finding new ways to run their businesses—ways that can save them time, real estate, and money, he says. He adds that “it’s arguable that they chose Microsoft due to their mutual enemy—Red Hat.”
The Microsoft partnership caters to customers who have standardized on the Microsoft platform, but may have been balking at the time and investment required to move to cloud, says Federico. The new arrangement makes the move to cloud more seamless for customers using the Microsoft platform, which tends to be on-premises server-centric, he says. “The transition to the hosted environment is made easier from a platform migration perspective. And hybrid environments— partially on-premise and partially cloudbased—would be compatible and would be less likely to require special integration measures.”
Oracle’s moves are in line with its long-term corporate goal of becoming a comprehensive solution provider—from hardware to software to database, Janis Griffin, senior Oracle DBA at Confio, a provider of DevOps performance solutions, tells DBTA. “Oracle 12c is clearly helping execute on this strategy.” She adds that Oracle’s pluggable databases “play neatly with the Exadata architecture, because customers can quickly consolidate multiple Oracle instances.” Since the pluggable databases are designed to be standalone in a shared environment, “applications don’t have to be changed in order to migrate them over, so consolidations should become easier.” Oracle is responding to a marketplace being disrupted by cloud and open source solutions, and, as a result, is being forced to re-shape itself, says Mark Hydar, vice president of market technology and strategy for NewSQL database vendor VoltDB. “In the past, CFOs and COOs would see the cost of Oracle as non-negotiable, much like a utility.”