Category Archives: Oracle

Belfast Harbour sets sail with Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP

Belfast Harbour, Northern Ireland’s principal maritime gateway and logistics hub, has selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) to streamline its financial operations, increase agility, improve insights, and enhance decision making across the organisation. Belfast Harbour is Northern Ireland’s primary maritime gateway for trade by operating a sustainable and world-leading regional… Read more »

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Oracle and Fujitsu partner up to tackle Japanese market

Oracle planeOracle and Fujitsu have announced a partnership to deliver Oracle cloud application and platform services to Japanese customers, reports Telecoms.com.

As part of the agreement, Fujitsu will install will install Oracle Cloud services in its data centre’s in Japan, connect them to its Cloud Service K5 in order to deliver enterprise-grade cloud services. The first service which will be connected will be Oracle’s Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, though it will extend further to include offerings such as the Database Cloud Service.

“In order to realize the full business potential of cloud computing, organizations need secure, reliable and high-performing cloud solutions,” said Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect at Oracle. “For over three decades, Oracle and Fujitsu have worked together using our combined R&D, product depth and global reach to create innovative solutions enabling customers to scale their organizations and achieve a competitive advantage. Oracle’s new strategic alliance with Fujitsu will allow companies in Japan to take advantage of an integrated cloud offering to support their transition to the cloud.”

In delivering the HCM solution first and foremost, Oracle is living up to its promise of targeting this aspect of the SaaS market segment. Back in March, the team released its quarterly statement, in which CTO Larry Ellison took a shine towards Salesforce, mentioning the company six times in a relatively short statement. Oracle has targeted the HCM and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) SaaS markets, as it believes they are currently underserved.

“Oracle Fusion ERP is the overall market leader in the enterprise cloud ERP market. I should say we have more than 10 times the number of ERP customers than Workday. And ERP has always been a much larger market than CRM. Salesforce.com is missing all of that ERP market opportunity,” said Ellison back during the earnings call. “And that in term it should make it easy for Oracle to pass Salesforce.com and become the largest SaaS and PaaS cloud company in the world.”

Widely regarded as a slow starter in the cloud market, Oracle would now appear to be gathering pace through various acquisitions and partnerships. Considering the resource the company has as its disposal, it should not be seen as a surprise Oracle is making strides in the industry.

Contract dispute with HPE costs Oracle $3bn

Lady Justice On The Old Bailey, LondonOracle has released a statement declaring it will appeal a jury decision to side with HPE in a long-running contract dispute worth $3 billion.

The dispute dates back to 2011 when Oracle decided to stop creating new versions of its database and other software for systems running Intel’s Itanium chip. The HP Enterprise claimed the decision violated the contractual terms between the organizations, a claim which the jury also believed. Oracle also claimed Intel had decided to stop supporting Itanium shifting focus to the x86 microprocessor, which the chip-maker has denied.

“Five years ago, Oracle made a software development announcement which accurately reflected the future of the Itanium microprocessor,” said Dorian Daley, General Counsel of Oracle. “Two trials have now demonstrated clearly that the Itanium chip was nearing end of life, HP knew it, and was actively hiding that fact from its customers.

“Oracle never believed it had a contract to continue to port our software to Itanium indefinitely and we do not believe so today; nevertheless, Oracle has been providing all its latest software for the Itanium systems since the original ruling while HP and Intel stopped developing systems years ago.”

Back in 2012, Santa Clara court’s Judge James Kleinberg confirmed to Oracle it would have to maintain its end of the contract for as long as HPE remained in the Itanium game. This decision was appealed by Oracle, which delayed the damages trial.

HPE has been seeking damages of $3 billion – $1.7 billion in lost sales before the case started, plus $1.3 billion in post-trial sales – which was awarded in full by the jury. Daley has unsurprisingly stated Oracle will appeal the decision, which could mean the sage will continue for some time.

Oracle has been having a tough time in the court room as of late, as it was seeking $8.8 billion in damages from Google over the unlicensed use of Java in a case which has dated back to 2010. The recent ruling was a victory for Google as the jury found Android does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by ‘fair use’. Oracle again stated it would appeal the decision, though it has been a tough couple of months for Oracle’s legal team.

Oracle and BT team up to conquer the cloud

Oracle planeOracle has announced a new partnership with BT as the company continues its efforts to redefine its offering and penetrate the cloud computing market segment, reports Telecoms.com.

Through the new partnership customers will be able to use several features of BT Cloud Connect environment to gain direct connectivity to the Oracle Cloud. The offering will provide options for connectivity from hybrid enterprise data centres to the Oracle Cloud, of which there are currently 19 spread around the world.

“Direct and reliable access to data and applications hosted in cloud environments has become critical to organisations as they embark on their digital transformation journeys,” Luis Alvarez, CEO of Global Services at BT. “We are accelerating our drive to be the world’s leading cloud services integrator and I am proud that BT is becoming the first global network services provider to offer direct access to the Oracle Cloud.”

Both companies have launched new initiatives to capitalize on the burgeoning cloud computing industry. BT’s Cloud of Clouds offering was launched last year in April as part of the company’s new technology roadmap to move customers onto a cloud platform. The Cloud of Clouds offering allows customers to integrate BT’s private, public and hybrid cloud services, as well as services from partners including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce and Cisco.

Oracle’s journey to the cloud has been a more varied experience, though the team would appear to be prioritizing the market segment for future growth. The tech giant was seemingly very sceptical over the implementation of cloud initially, as Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison said in an analyst briefing in 2008, “The computer industry is the only industry which is more fashion driven than women’s fashion. I was reading W and it said that orange is the new pink. Cloud is the new SaaS.”

Since this comment the company has changed its direction, acquiring several cloud vendors to boost its position in the market. Oracle has however taken a slightly different approach from others in the industry, targeting organizations which have a vertical specific cloud offering. Opower, a company which provides customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services to the utilities industry, was acquired for $532 million in May, and Textura, a provider of construction contracts and payment management cloud services, was bought for $663 million in April.

Although Oracle has been late to the party, the company has committed heavily to the new market. During the quarterly call earlier this month Ellison claimed Oracle is in a strong position to grow in the IaaS, having invested heavily second generation data centres. Telecoms.com readers would appear to agree with Ellison’s confidence as we asked in a flash poll whether the company could break AWS, Microsoft and Google’s dominance in the IaaS market; 64% agreed it could in time.

Oracle has committed heavily to the cloud computing market in recent years after an initial period of denial, which could be linked back to the company’s reliance on revenue driven from non-cloud products. The partnership would appear to be a move to justify the company’s position in the cloud market as Oracle lean on BT’s credibility to push its cloud offering to BT customers.

Oracle sets sights on IaaS market as it reports 49% cloud growth

Oracle CloudOracle has reported its 2016 Q4 results stating growth over the period declined 1% to $10.6 billion, though its cloud business grew 49% to $859 million, reports Telecoms.com.

2016 has seen Oracle spend almost $2 billion on cloud-specific organizations, as the tech giant continues efforts to transform the Oracle business focus to the burgeoning cloud market. While Oracle could be seen as one of the industry’s elder statesmen, efforts in the M&A market are seemingly paying off as PaaS and SaaS continues to demonstrate healthy growth to compensate for the dwindling legacy business units. The team have also outlined plans to make strides in the IaaS market segment.

Growth in the SaaS and PaaS business has been accelerating in recent years as CEO Safra Catz quoted 20% growth in 2014, 34% in 2015, and now 52% over the course of FY 2016. Q4 gross margin for SaaS and PaaS was 57%, up from 40% during the same period. The progress of the business would appear to be making healthy progress, and Catz does not seem to be content with the current growth levels. The team have ambitions to raise gross margin to 80% in the mid-term, as well as seeing cloud year-on-year revenue growth for Q1 FY 2017 of 75% to 80%.

“For most companies as their business grows, the growth rates go down,” said Catz. “In our case, as the business grows, the growth rates are continuing to increase. Now, as regard to our cloud revenue accounting, we have reviewed it carefully and are completely confident that it is a 100% accurate and if anything slightly conservative.”

Moving forward, CTO Larry Ellison highlighted the team plan on driving rapid expansion of the cloud business. The Oracle team are targeting growth rates which would double that of competitors as its ambition is now to be the first SaaS company to make $10 billion in annual revenue. The team are not only targeting the customer experience markets, but also the Enterprise Resource Management and Human Capital Management segments, where it believes there will be higher growth rates.

“We’re a major player in ERP and HCM,” said Ellison. “We’re almost the only player in supply chain and manufacturing. We’re the number one player in marketing. We’re very competitive. We’re number one – tied for number one in service.”

Secondly, the team will also be aiming to facilitate growth through expanding it IaaS data centre focus, which is currently an ‘also ran’ part of the cloud business. Ellison claims Oracle is in a strong position to grow in this area, having invested heavily second generation data centres, as well the potential for the combination of PaaS and IaaS for the company’s installed base of database customers, helping them move to the cloud.

“And we built, again, the second generation data centre, which we think is highly competitive with anything out there lower cost, better performance, better security, better reliability than any of our competitors, and there’s huge demand for it, and we’re now starting to bring customers into that,” said Ellison. “We think that’s another very important driver to Oracle for overall growth.”

The last few years have seen a considerable transformation in the Oracle business, as it has invested considerably in the development of new technology, as well as acquisitions, seemingly hedging its bets to buy its way into the cloud market. The numbers quoted by Catz and Ellison indicate there has been some traction and the market does seem to be reacting positively to the new Oracle proposition.

In terms of the IaaS market, success in this area will remain to be seen. Although Oracle has the potential to put considerable weight behind any move in this market, it is going to be playing catch up with some noteworthy players, who have cash themselves. Whether Oracle has the ability to catch the likes of AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google, as well as the smaller players in the market, remains to be see, though its success in the SaaS and PaaS markets does show some promise.

Bridging the Gap: Hybrid Cloud – blurring the lines between public and private cloud capabilities

Hybrid CloudThe public cloud is often seen as something that sits outside the enterprise. But its capabilities can be brought in-house.

The benefits of cloud are now widely known; a faster time to market, streamlined processes and flexible infrastructure costs. The public cloud model also provides rapid access to business applications or shared physical infrastructure owned and operated by a third party. It is quick to provision, and the utility billing model employed in a public cloud means companies only pay for the services they use. And, with costs spread across a number of users, costs are kept under control.

This works especially well for certain business applications that support HR, Sales, Marketing and Support.  It is also ideal for training, development and testing – where there are sporadic bursts of activity.

Private cloud, on the other hand, offers a bespoke infrastructure dedicated to an individual business, either run on-premises or hosted within a data center run by the cloud provider. This provides most of the benefits of the cloud – an agile, scalable and efficient cloud infrastructure – but with greater levels of control and security for the business than is offered by the public cloud, and as a result, often has a slightly higher level of cost.

A private cloud is often perceived to offer the best option for mission critical applications, or those that demand a higher level of customisation – something that can be more difficult to achieve in a public cloud environment. It can also reduce latency issues, as services are accessed over internal networks rather than the internet.

Bearing these factors in mind, a private cloud tends to work well for large and complex applications or organisations and those with stricter obligations around data and regulation.

Historically, customers have been faced with the dilemma of which model to use – public or private.  They’ve had to make a decision, one application at a time. This is mainly because public and private have had very different setups. There has not been an ability to seamlessly pick up workloads and move them back and forth between the private and public cloud.  Each ‘burst’ or ‘cross-over’ from on-premise to on-cloud (or vice versa) requires different provisioning code, security profiles, network configurations, testing and automation tools. It’s just too difficult!

Fortunately, when considering the move to cloud, it doesn’t have to be an either/or decision anymore: hybrid cloud enables companies to utilise a mixture of both, and is giving organizations new strategic options. It is about providing the exact same infrastructure, security policies and toolsets, and, at the very last stage, choosing a deployment option – either on-premise or on-cloud.

One of the key benefits of operating a hybrid cloud is that it enables users to move applications and workloads between environments depending on demand, business needs and other variables. This mixed approach means businesses can rapidly respond to operational developments — for example using public cloud to quickly and cost-effectively develop and test new applications, before moving them back behind the firewall as they go into production.

It also means more (if not all) of a company’s applications are now ready to take advantage of the benefits of being deployed on a cloud – even if it’s the private cloud to start with.

This is now possible thanks to an evolution in the cloud computing space — the Public Cloud Machine — which uses the same software and hardware as the public cloud to bring the capabilities on-premise, meaning businesses can exploit the power of public cloud infrastructure while having the extra control that in-house data centers provide.

Essentially, it means organizations can address specific business or regulatory requirements, as well as those around data control and data location, while being able to tap into the perceived benefits of the public cloud: agility and pay-as-you go billing.

The hybrid cloud is set to become a business-as-usual expectation from companies.  Oracle is leading with the Public Cloud Machine, getting customers ahead of the curve.

By being able to blur the lines between where one cloud begins and another ends, companies can gain the ultimate flexibility of cloud, become more agile than their competitors and be in a better position to rapidly respond to changing needs and an increasingly competitive environment.

Written by Neil Sholay, Head of Oracle Digital, EMEA at ‎Oracle

Oracle continues efforts to buy its way into the cloud market with $532 million acquisition

Oracle CloudOracle has announced it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Opower for approximately $532 million.

Opower, which provides customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services to the utilities industry, boasts a healthy customer list of more than 100 utilities including companies such as PG&E, Exelon and National Grid. The announcement follows a similar one from last week, with Oracle acquiring Textura, a provider of construction contracts and payment management cloud services.

“Utilities want modern technology solutions that work together to meet their evolving customer, operational and compliance needs,” said Rodger Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Utilities Global Business Unit. “Together, Oracle Utilities and Opower will be the largest provider of mission-critical cloud services to utilities.”

Oracle has certainly changed its tune in recent years, as it was once one of the foremost critics of the technology. “The computer industry is the only industry which is more fashion driven than women’s fashion. I was reading W and it said that orange is the new pink. Cloud is the new SaaS,” Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison said in an analyst briefing in 2008.

While other organizations seemingly embraced cloud as a technology during its embryo days, and have in turn developed a portfolio to compete in this competitive marketplace, Oracle appear to be using financial muscle as a means of levelling the playing field and catching up with industry leaders.

Although the aforementioned acquisitions have increased Oracle’s share in the cloud market place, the company has been on the receiving end of some unfavourable reports recently. Research from JP Morgan highlighted while there are still a number of enterprise organizations who will continue to utilize the services of Oracle, this is more due to the complications of migrating their systems to another vendor, as opposed to the technological strength of the tech giant.

Oracle bolsters construction capabilities with $663mn Textura acquisition

Oracle planeOracle has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Textura, provider of construction contracts and payment management cloud services.

The deal, valued at approximately $663 million, adds to the Oracle Primavera offering, building on the cloud suite for project cost, time and risk management. Over recent years, Oracle has been making efforts to the re-architect the Oracle Primavera products as a software-as-a-service offering to capitalize on growing digitalization trends within the construction industry.

“The increasingly global engineering and construction industry requires digital modernization in a way that automates manual processes and embraces the power of cloud computing to easily connect the construction job site, reduce cost overruns, and improve productivity,” said Mike Sicilia, GM of Oracle’s Engineering and Construction Global Business Unit. “Together, Textura and Oracle Engineering and Construction will have the most comprehensive set of cloud services in the industry.”

The company now claims to have a complete end-to-end cloud project-solution which manages all phases of engineering and construction projects. Textura’s cloud software currently processes more than $3.4 billion in payments for general contractors, engineers, and subcontractors each month, currently accommodating more than 6,000 different projects.

“Textura’s mission is to bring workflow automation and transparency to complex construction projects while improving their financial performance and minimizing risks,” said David Habiger, CEO at Textura. “We are excited to join Oracle and bring our cloud-based capabilities to help extend the Oracle Engineering and Construction Industry Cloud Platform.”

The acquisition builds on Oracle’s continued efforts to provide industry specific solutions, where the company reportedly spends more than $700 million annually.

Oracle acquisition boosts position in data-as-a-service market

ContractOracle has announced its intention to acquire Israeli machine-learning company Crosswire, in a bid to strengthen its Data-as-a-Service offering.

The Crosswire technology enables marketers and publishers the opportunity to increase cross-device advertising, personalization and analytics, and builds on Oracle’s efforts to bolster its position in the smart data market segment.

“Uniting identity across desktop, browsers and mobile apps to create a meaningful and consistent relationship with customers and prospects has become one of the critical challenges for marketers,” said Omar Tawakol, General Manager at Oracle Data Cloud. “Identification methods are different on every device and across every channel, and solving this can enable marketers to have a significantly more effective dialogue with the consumer and save billions of advertising dollars.”

The team claim in combining the Crosswire capabilities with its Data Cloud portfolio, marketers will be able to build a graphical representation to identify how consumers interact with their digital devices. Oracle currently has such an offering within its portfolio, though the company claims the Crosswire capabilities increases the accuracy of the data, which in theory offers marketers the opportunity to better allocate advertising budgets.

“Oracle Data Cloud is the fastest growing global Data as a Service business, aggregating more than 3 billion profiles from over 15 million websites in its data marketplace and operating the most accurate ID Graph to enable understanding of consumer behaviour across all media channels,” said Tawakol. “The addition of Crosswise further broadens the Oracle ID Graph to construct a complete view of consumers’ digital interactions across multiple devices.”

The acquisition builds on moves by Oracle over recent years to bolster its cloud business. The company bought Ravello Systems for an estimated $500 million in February, as well as numerous acquisitions in 2015 including CloudMonkey, Maxymiser, and StackEngine.

Oracle expands cloud offering into customer datacentres

Oracle CloudOracle launched Cloud at Customer, a new service designed to extend Oracle’s cloud into a customer’s datacentre.

The service allows companies to place an Oracle cloud server within their own datacentre to create a hybrid environment where customers can choose whether to run workloads on the Oracle cloud or on premise. Oracle claims the new offering will remove a number of barriers to cloud adoption, as the customer will retain control on what data is stored where, removing any residency or security concerns for business critical data.

“We are committed to helping our customers move to the cloud to help speed their innovation, fuel their business growth, and drive business transformation,” said Oracle’s President of Product Development Thomas Kurian. “Today’s news is unprecedented. We announced a number of new Cloud Services and we are now the first Public Cloud Vendor to offer organizations the ultimate in choice on where and how they want to run their Oracle cloud.”

The company claims it is the first in the industry to offer such a service and aims to address security and regulatory barriers for cloud adoption. Oracle stressed the service complies with many security and data regulations including FedRAMP for the US federal government, Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act and the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act.

Data security and residency has been a topic of healthy discussion in recent months following the EU decision to dismiss Safe Harbour and the introduction of its successor Privacy Shield. Oracle could be capitalizing on the concerns of cloud buyers as it claims the offering answers business, legislative and regulatory obstacles enterprise organizations face when considering the transition to a cloud platform.

The new product launch forms part of Oracle’s general cloud offensive. “Oracle is now selling more new SaaS and PaaS annually recurring cloud revenue than any other company in the world including Salesforce.com,” said Executive Chairman Larry Ellison, during the quarterly earnings call.

“We are growing much faster than Salesforce.com, more than twice as fast. Because we sell into a lot more SaaS and PaaS market than they do. We compete directly with Salesforce.com in every segment of the SaaS customer experience market including sales, service and market.”