Yesterday, Oracle had a lengthy webinar/seminar to announce and describe their cloud and social offerings. Listening to Larry Ellison is always interesting no matter what the content. He seems genuine in his delivery. Even the demonstration – yes, Mr. Ellison does his own demos – started off a little ragged adding to that sense of authenticity. If it was staged, it was staged well. Otherwise, kudos to Oracle for keeping it real.
There were several takeaways from the webinar but what really caught my eye were the following:
- Oracle has almost 100 applications in the cloud including all the majors. Wow. That is a lot. ERP, CRM, HR, all of it delivered as a service. Cloud applications are nothing new but the scope of this is huge. Even if it were only ERP, PLM, CRM and all the other three letter acronyms I would be impressed. This is an enormous commitment to and endorsement of the Software-as-a-Service model of computing.
- Platforms everywhere. Oracle has a series of platform services in the cloud as well. These include everything from their own Oracle database to Java virtual machines and, more important, the development environments that go along with them. A Java integrated development environment (IDE) in the cloud is a great way to encourage cloud deployment. This is a formidable though Oracle-centric Platform-as-a-Service offering.
- Cloud and on-premises together. The ability to move between cloud and on-premises as well as integrate the two is a big plus to a developer. There are a lot of situations where deploying into a cloud environment is just not an option. Being able to combine those two realms provides choice in systems architecture and may be necessary to certain regulated environments or for some types of applications. They do this by having the same platform for applications on-premises and in the cloud and through their SOA.
- Social Services. One of the foundational elements of their software is what Oracle calls Social Services. Despite a name that sounds like a government program, Social Services is a richly featured collection of software services for all aspects of social interactions. There are internal collaboration tools (packaged as Oracle Social Networking), social media and social network communications tools, and social analytics. It’s a full social layer. Pretty impressive for a company that was barely on the social radar a year ago.
Given Oracle’s huge installed base and huge resources, I would expect that things will now get much harder for many of the startups in the Social Enterprise space. Their commitment to Social Enterprise not only as an application category but a foundational layer in the software stack will make them a major force in this market segment.