- Oracle is enlisting a number of partners to help the company catch up to more nimble rivals that leapfrogged the software giant in the cloud. These allies include Microsoft and Salesforce.com, two partners which might be best classified as ‘frenemies.’
- The deal with Microsoft in particular represents a sharp about-face from Oracle’s more single-minded strategy which traditionally has been focused on crushing its rival rather than embracing the desktop software giant.
You might say Oracle has evolved its cloud position, slowly. In the years since CEO Larry Ellison derided cloud computing as nothing more than a passing tech marketing fad, the once niche segment has gone mainstream. Now on-demand titans like Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com are driving the market forward with their multibillion dollar enterprises, and customers are clamoring for the flexibility and cost advantages of a consumption-based IT delivery model. Even Oracle’s Ellison recognizes the need to do more than slap ‘as a service’ on its marketing materials.
What the company needs is to revamp its pricing and delivery to meet enterprise demand for more flexible, cost-effective solutions. In other words, Oracle needs to get into the cloud delivery model in a true sense, and the company needs to do so quickly.
Oracle is betting the fastest path to this end is through partnerships. The company is hoping partners such as NetSuite and Deloitte will help the company reach new prospects, which in the case of that cloud ERP-related alliance is focused on mid-sized businesses. Moreover, through integration deals with companies such as Salesforce.com, Oracle hopes to increase its relevance with both new and existing clients.
Perhaps the most surprising tie-up was with Microsoft, a company that has faced its own cloud challenges. However, in linking up its own software with Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure, Oracle may have found the fastest route through the cloud to its existing base. Only time will tell how well these relationships pan out, but one thing is clear, they demonstrate that the cloud is anything but vaporware.