You have all recently seen a bevy of cloud partnership announcements from Oracle. That of course produced a flurry of stories about it, some more informative than others.
- Perficient Oracle Blog: Oracle announces Salesforce partnership
- Perficient Microsoft Blog: Microsoft/Oracle Announcement Highlights Azure as Cloud Leader
- CRN: Oracle, Microsoft To Announce Cloud Alliance Built On Oracle’s Database
- Microsoft: Microsoft and Oracle announce enterprise partnership
- Oracle: Oracle and Microsoft Expand Choice and Flexibility in Deploying Oracle Software in the Cloud
- Salesforce: Salesforce.com and Oracle Announce New Strategic Partnership
So what do we make of this? Oracle announces strategic partnerships with two fierce competitors, both of whom offer a range of products that compete directly with various Oracle products. Oracle’s CEO has publicly trounced Salesforce a number of times. No love has been lost here. Are cats and dogs living together? I suspect the answer is no.
Confluence of Interest
Any partnership comes from a confluence of interest. Rather than go into too much detail, let me give you the easy version:
- Oracle loves it’s database. They want it to be used everywhere.
- Oracle wants it’s database to remain viable even in a SaaS world. The upcoming release of 12C with their version of SaaS db’s is one approach but I think they realize that’s a partial multi-tenancy option at best.
- Oracle also wants it’s other traditional on-premise software offerings to remain relevant in a cloud world.
- Oracle has been having trouble breaking into the cloud. They have cloud offerings but they aren’t at the top of the heap.
- Microsoft has had great success with Office 365 and Azure but it’s growth is limited to the Windows only world
- Microsoft wants to own as much cloud services as possible so everyone can pay monthly fees. (That’s a nice trackable revenue stream)
- Salesforce wants everyone and everything to connect to it’s Sales and Services clouds.
- Oracles probably doesn’t want to tick off a huge Oracle db customer in Salesforce
- Salesforce wants Larry to stop bad mouthing them in public (OK, they may not really care about this part)
- Salesforce wants to get a great deal on database and hardware
Now what happens you put all of the above together? You guessed it, strategic partnerships. It makes sense for Oracle and Salesforce as well as Oracle and Microsoft to form these partnerships. Both sides benefit. Where one side seems to benefit more, I suspect there are some big discounts, kickbacks, or other offers involved.
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One nice quote from the CRN article:
“We will be announcing technology partnerships with the most important, the largest and most important SaaS companies and infrastructure companies in the cloud,” Ellison said on the earnings call. “And they will be using our technology, committing to our technology for years to come. That’s how important we are doing 12c. We think 12c will be the foundation of a modern cloud where you get multitenant applications with a high degree of security and a high degree of efficiency, you at least have to sacrifice one for the other.
Now sing database, database, database (to the tune of location, location, location)
What to Make of Oracle and Microsoft’s Agreement?
Basically, Oracle gets to run their database and software on Azure. It will be supported. Microsoft gets to have Oracle Linux as an OS option so they can capture hosted apps that don’t live in the Windows stack. Here’s a quote from Microsoft:
“Microsoft is deeply committed to giving businesses what they need, and clearly that is the ability to run enterprise workloads in private clouds, public clouds and, increasingly, across both,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Now our customers will be able to take advantage of the flexibility our unique hybrid cloud solutions offer for their Oracle applications, middleware and databases, just like they have been able to do on Windows Server for years.”
Oracle had their own quote:
“Our customers’ IT environments are changing rapidly to meet the dynamic nature of the world today,” said Oracle President Mark Hurd. “At Oracle, we are committed to providing greater choice and flexibility to customers by providing multiple deployment options for our software, including on-premises, as well as public, private, and hybrid clouds. This collaboration with Microsoft extends our partnership and is important for the benefit of our customers.”
Now for the breakdown from the Oracle Blog:
- Effective today, our customers can run supported Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure
- Effective today, Oracle provides license mobility for customers who want to run Oracle software on Windows Azure
- Microsoft will add Infrastructure Services instances with popular configurations of Oracle software including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server to the Windows Azure image gallery
- Microsoft will offer fully licensed and supported Java in Windows Azure
- Oracle will offer Oracle Linux, with a variety of Oracle software, as preconfigured instances on Windows Azure
What to make of the Oracle and Salesforce Partnership
This is an easier one. Salesforce remains committed to the Oracle database and grows that commitment. Can anyone see Salesforce as Oracle’s biggest customer ever? Salesforce also gets a commitment to integrate a few tools not in the Sales, Service, and Marketing Clouds……. namely HR and Finance systems. Oracle makes a big customer even bigger and get access to a large and growing ecosystem.
A couple quotes:
“Larry and I both agree that salesforce.com and Oracle need to integrate our clouds,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. “Salesforce.com’s CRM integrated with Oracle’s Fusion HCM and Financial Cloud is the best of both worlds: the simplicity of salesforce.com combined with the power of Oracle.”
“We are looking forward to working with salesforce.com to integrate our cloud with theirs,” said Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle. “When customers choose cloud applications they expect rapid low-cost implementations; they also expect application integrations to work right out of the box – even when the applications are from different vendors. That’s why Marc and I believe it’s important that our two companies work together to make it happen, and integrate the salesforce.com and Oracle Clouds.”
These Oracle partnerships make a lot of sense for companies looking out for their best interest. I also think they make sense for customers who want to leverage their existing investments in on-premise or cloud technologies without having to commit completely to one offering or another. I just wonder what other big technology players are thinking or doing based on these partnerships………………….