5 Key Takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld 2015 on How Cloud is Changing Business and IT

Each year at Oracle OpenWorld, observations are made in keynotes and sessions about how the world of IT is changing and what the drivers are. This year, the impact of cloud is being felt strongly.

  1. Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison: “Almost all of our competitors are new.” The world has changed. Oracle now competes with and Workday on the application front in the cloud, said Ellison, during his Sunday keynote, observing that those are the companies Oracle sees most frequently when it is selling applications in the marketplace. This is a “stunning change” said Ellison. One of the companies that has  been a historic competitor of Oracle’s is Microsoft and Microsoft is the only one of its traditional competitors that has “crossed the chasm” and is now competing aggressively in the cloud business at all three layers - infrastructure, platform, and applications, Ellison added. In infrastructure, again there has been a “stunning” change, said Ellison, noting that Oracle competes with primarily. Oracle also sees Google “occasionally but not all that often.” It is really primarily, he noted.
  2. Prakash Ramamurthy, Senior Vice President, Systems & Cloud Management at Oracle: Customers only want a small footprint that they have to manage themselves. Increasingly, customers want a small footprint to manage, according to Prakash Ramamurthy, senior vice president, Systems & Cloud Management at Oracle, who was commenting on trends leading to a new set of services called  Oracle Management Cloud (OMC), which provides a real-time, collaborative environment in which DevOps leaders, line-of-business managers and business analysts to have an end-to-end view into the applications and technologies that support business services. “Our customers want to have a very small footprint that they need to manage to have these kinds of services, and secondly they expect to see very quick value from these services. We tell our customers that within 15 minutes of deploying the solution you will start seeing metrics coming to these cloud dashboards. Gone are the days of doing a 30, or 60, or 90-day deployment cycle,” said Ramamurthy. “The customer expectation is to do all the heavy lifting on the cloud and put a very small footprint on their application infrastructure - whether that is running on premise or it is running on a cloud; it doesn’t matter,” Ramamurthy said. “They just don’t want to manage any of these components if they don’t have to. And, more importantly as soon as they deploy it, they have to see something in return. That trend is pervasive now.”
  3. Mark Hurd, Oracle CEO: The current on-premise model is unsustainable for customers. Organizations are getting squeezed, according to Hurd. They have old infrastructure; there is the need for innovation but also great pressure to do things such as increase security and adhere to governance mandates which are not innovative; and also pressure to keep costs flat, without increasing IT costs. “This is why the cloud is such a big deal,” said Hurd.According to Hurd, cloud is important because it offers a lower cost structure and a less complex environment. “It is about a more secure, reliable environment with rapid innovation,” he said.  “That is driving this; nothing else. It is macroeconomics - the ability to get from here to there at a lower cost and get to faster innovation now.” While Oracle believes that the current on-premise operating model is unsustainable, Hurd noted in closing that it also believes a dual, hybrid on-premise/cloud environment will continue and that 10 years from now, on-premise will still be here. That is why, he said, Oracle’s approach of having the same solutions and capabilities in the cloud and on-premise is important with the ability to move data and applications between the two.
  4. Larry Ellison: Cloud allows midsize organizations to have access to the same technology as large companies since they don’t need to build big data centers or hire lots of programmers.  In a demonstration of Big Data Services in the Oracle Cloud:  Big Data Preparation, Big Data Discovery & Visualization, Ellison observed that comparing sales from 2012 to 2015, almost 50% of Oracle customers are now buying in the cloud rather than buying on premise. “The interesting thing about the cloud is that you don’t have to build data centers, and you don’t need lots of programmers; you can consume these cloud technologies even if you are a midsize company or small midsize company.”
  5. Jim Fowler, CIO of GE: GE wants to build what differentiates the company but buy innovation in the cloud for things that do not differentiate it.  Explaining why cloud is important to his company, Fowler said that GE has a philosophy that it will build what differentiates the company in the marketplace, but buy innovation for things that do not differentiate GE, and do that acquisition in the cloud. The goal with buying innovation he said is to free up both time and dollars to put back into the things that differentiate GE to its customers.