If you speak with “old school” networking folks they will tell you that Larry Ellison’s interest in “the cloud” is because he has been involved in building it since he built his first database (working for another company) in the 70’s for the CIA. He has been fighting to make sure that Oracle, which was also the name he gave that first database over 40 years ago, leads the data industry…everywhere.
To say that he has Oracle in “a war for the cloud” may well be an understatement. He has fought them before in the early 90’s when Oracle came close to bankruptcy and then had to win back marketshare from early competitors like Sybase. He has continued to guide Oracle towards database market dominance ever since and now has his sights on both Salesforce and Adobe with Oracle’s acquisition of cross-channel marketing firm Responsys for $1.5 billion.
Forrester analyst Rob Brosnan states that “This absolutely is a response to Salesforce. This is the battleground for the next ten years.” He is speaking of the recent acquisitions by Salesforce of Radian6, ExactTarget, Buddy Media, and cloud platforms like Heroku. All Things D’s web has pegged Saleforce as potentially growing to be a $10 billion company by 2019.
Responsys joins other billion dollar acquisitions Eloqua, Taleo and RightNow with the company signaling these are just for starters. According to Forbes this means that Oracle is declaring war on the Salesforce.com and Adobe. Salesforce.com unified platform, the result of SFs purchase of ExactTarget and Adobe’s recognition that they needed to get into the marketing space.
Between the two SF and Adobe platforms they are generating $30 billion dollars and are the ones to beat in the marketing space. Only time will tell if the Oracle acquisitions will lead to a real “head to head” battle but they do present both opportunities and further puzzles to solve for end-users of their products.
Smaller and mid-sized companies will find many new options to enhance their ability to compete with larger competitors using Oracle or SF but they will need increasingly sophisticated knowledge to truly gain value. These companies would benefit from using outside experts that are available in multiple companies dealing with development and deployment of marketing systems. Many times these experts can save you budget dollars by ensuring that you will actually benefit from a cloud based solution or if you are able to develop alternatives based on existing systems you have already made investments in.
Either way, the war for the cloud is on and Ellison continues to guide one of the most formidable competitors in the new “cloud technology age”.