Oracle No Longer Views IBM and SAP As Their Rivals

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, often outspoken and often given to move aggressively when the spirit moves him, is redefining who Oracle is actually in competition with. It used to be primarily IBM and SAP but as the aggregate collection of infrastructure elements and SaaS has emerged to create a whole new universe known as “the cloud” he sees it differently now.

In a question and answer period following a talk at Oracle’s CloudWorld conference Ellison stated “Our competitors are this whole new generation of cloud companies. We’re focused on the infrastructure companies like Amazon and the SaaS companies like Salesforce. We just swapped a bunch of big guys—IBM and SAP—for a bunch of other guys; small but agile,”

There to primarily to promote both Oracle’s cloud and on-premise systems he admits that Oracle was slower than many in moving further towards the cloud. It is odd as Ellison could lay claim, and occasionally does, to having conceived the entire cloud concept. He explained the slightly slower movement this way, “If I’m going to do one application and put it in the cloud, that’s fairly straightforward,” Ellison said. “Oracle isn’t a company that builds one application, it’s a company that builds many”.

And build many they have so as he puts it, “You can say that we’re late but it’s not because we started late, we started 10 years ago. It was just an enormous task bringing an enormous suite of apps to the cloud.”

Integration with other clouds also seems to be part of Oracle’s adaptation to bring its apps to layers everywhere. In an agreement put together in June of 2013 Oracle has released an adapter that allows the two systems to copy data between their cloud based Salesforce account and their Oracle software.

This is part of Oracle’s move to integrate clouds with their on-premise software deployments. According to Demed L’Her, Oracle vice president of product management, ”We’re encapsulating standard Web services calls into easier-to-use adapters. It will be the first in a number of connectors that the company plans to offer that connect cloud services with on-premises Oracle applications.”

Ellison’s move is one that allows existing on-premise Oracle users to maintain their investment while opening up gateways to cloud based systems to augment their overall value. Small to mid-size enterprises with on-premise Oracle deployments may wish to consult with experts familiar with both Oracle and the systems you wish to integrate.

Long term more companies than less will need to find better ways to cultivate their data investments and maximize the impact they can have on your business. Increasingly, whether they like it or not, infrastructure and Xaas companies will need to entertain “co-opetition” to provide their end-users with what they require in integrated data systems.