Oracle unveils Intel big data partnership while attacking IBM and SAP


The Oracle OpenWorld 2015 event, which kicked off yesterday in San Francisco, had what one would expect from such a conference; product and integration announcements, alongside a smattering of competitor bashing.

First off, the announcements. Oracle unveiled the Exa Your Power Program, a system which enables customers to migrate off IBM Power systems to Oracle Engineered Systems through Intel technology. The program, which is jointly funded by both Oracle and Intel, offers customers a free proof of concept migration for sample databases, customised reports documenting the migration process and a ‘comprehensive’ roadmap for companies looking to modernise their database environments.

The software giant also announced a record number of partners are adopting Oracle’s cloud technologies, while announcing a new cloud program with Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). New designations within OPN will first appear on February 1, while a new entry point into the OPN program, the Cloud Registered level, will require no initial investment from organisation looking to grow their business with Oracle’s cloud.

In the keynote speech on Sunday night, Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison argued “it seems like early days” for cloud businesses, and added SAP and IBM were no longer on the company’s competitive radar.

“In this new world of cloud computing, everything has changed – almost all of our competitors are new,” he told delegates, adding: “We now compete with and a new company called Workday. Those are the companies we see most frequently when we are selling applications in the marketplace, and we virtually never, ever see SAP.

“This is a stunning change,” added Ellison. “The largest application company in the world is still SAP, but we never see them in the cloud. We sell a lot of applications in the cloud, but we compete with Salesforce, and Workday, and not SAP.”

IBM was equally dismissed as “nowhere in the cloud”, but Ellison admitted he had respect for how Microsoft has turned around its fortunes. “Microsoft is the only one of our traditional competitors that has crossed the chasm, and is now competing aggressively in the cloud business at all three layers,” the Oracle CTO explained.

Those three layers are, of course, the software and application side, the infrastructure, and the platform layer. “Here’s the irony of it all,” Ellison told the audience. “We went into the SaaS business, and…that required us to be in the platform business. We went into the platform business, and came to understand we had to be in the infrastructure as a service business. That’s how we got to where we are today.”

Regular readers of this publication will recall Oracle’s various attempts to bolster its cloud focus, particularly this time last year when the company was hoovering up executives, from SAP head of cloud Shawn Price to former Google App Engine mastermind Peter Magnusson. Yet IBM and SAP may rankle at the criticism from Ellison; both companies will arguably say their cloud operations are succeeding as well as, if not better, than Oracle’s.