-Mike Barton, via Wired.com/Cloudline
While coverage ahead of Oracle’s fiscal third quarter results yesterday focused on it losing ground to younger cloud rivals, my question of “But for how long?” did not take long to be answered, sort of.
“After a long period of testing … Oracle’s cloud applications will be generally available. We’ve named our cloud the Oracle Secure Cloud,” Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said during yesterday’s analyst call about its Q3 results.
Oracle President Mark Hurd also stated in the press release before the call, “…Fusion in the Cloud is winning with great success against niche HCM cloud vendors in the US and worldwide. Our modular, integrated platform of 100 apps available in the cloud or on-premise is a key differentiator.”
Over at Forbes, Victoria Barret highlights how Ellison could not resist going after big-fish rivals Salesforce.com and SAP after he planted the Oracle Secure Flag brand in the ground:
Here he couldn’t help but take aim at Salesforce.com, suggesting that the company run by his former protege, Marc Benioff, can’t offer the same level of security. Benioff has long ridiculed Ellison for selling legacy software systems not able to keep pace with the shift to cloud computing.”
Then Ellison swiftly moved on to SAP, explaining that the German rival hasn’t yet moved its heavy-duty business software suite to the cloud. “Six years ago we made the decision to write Fusion. It will take years for SAP to catch up,” he said. SAP’s Web offering, called Business ByDesign, seems so far limited to smaller customers. SAP in December announced 1,000 customers to the product. Then again, Ellison did not mention customer names for Fusion or Secure Cloud.
Oracle Secure Cloud, which will be available in the next few weeks, is a private cloud, rented by the month and managed by Oracle, but living behind a company’s own firewall in their data center. “Salesforce.com does not offer this kind of security in their cloud. This is a key advantage for us,” Ellison said during the call yesterday. “But by far our biggest application competitor is SAP, not Salesforce.com. And SAP does not even offer CRM, HCM and financial applications in the cloud to their large customers.”
“Six years ago we made the decision to rewrite our ERP and CRM suit for the cloud. We called it Fusion. SAP called it confusion,” Ellison said. “It will take years for SAP to catch up.”
Ellison, well known for his flamboyance and fierce competitiveness, even went so far as to question SAP’s sobriety with its focus on building Oracle competitor HANA. “When SAP, and, specifically Hasso Plattner, said they’re going to build this in-memory database and compete with Oracle, I said. God, get me the name of that pharmacist, they must be on drugs,” he told analysts yesterday. “That was interpreted by Hasso as Larry doesn’t believe in in-memory databases… We’ve been working on in-memory databases for 10 years. We have the world’s leading in-memory database. It’s called TimesTen.”
So that’s where Oracle has planted its flag with regard to the cloud, in contrast to Salesforce and Workday, and butting heads with SAP. Is that going to do the trick? Is Oracle keenly aware of what the marketplace wants, or is it putting its game face on given what it can offer in terms of cloud now? Do the RightNow and Taleo buys, in addition to Fusion (in the cloud) give it enough to go on? Have your say in the comments section, below.