Does Oracle Have The Most Comprehensive Cloud On Planet Earth?
The reasoning behind the question posed in the title to this article is the claim made by Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison. In a presentation to introduce his company’s latest suite of cloud computing services (See: Things All Cloudy: Oracle Takes The Inevitable Plunge), the maverick entrepreneur made the claim that, in his opinion, Oracle has “the most comprehensive cloud on planet Earth.”
Let’s take a step back and review Oracle’s journey on the cloud. Looking at Oracle today, it’s hard to believe that once Ellison had this to say about cloud computing – “What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?” However, a lot has changed over the last year and a half.
From its first cloud offering in December 2010 (See: Oracle – the latest Big Boy to join the Cloud Computing game) to a road trip in early 2011 to announce its intentions (See: Oracle On Cloud Computing Road Trip Around The World) to big-ticket acquisitions focused on the cloud (See: Oracle Acquires RightNow Technologies for $1.5 Billion and What Will the Taleo Purchase Bring to Oracle?), Oracle has done a lot to compensate for its late entry. Of course, the fact that its main competitor SAP is also moving fast in this area (See: Some Recent Cloud Computing Acquisitions and SAP And Verizon Announce Tie-Up: SAP Products To Be Available On Verizon Cloud) has encouraged its enthusiasm for all things cloud.
Now, Larry Ellison is someone who has thrived on adversity. Born to an unwed mother and raised by adoptive parents of modest means, Ellison left college before graduating and founded Oracle as an upstart competitor to the then-dominant IBM in the database market. Today, Oracle ranks No.3 in global software revenue after Microsoft and IBM, and Larry Ellison is also No.3 in America’s rich list after Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. In other words, one cannot ignore Ellison and he may very well turn around Oracle’s late entry into cloud computing into assuming a leadership position.
Is it already there, as Ellison claims? I highly doubt that. For one, its impressive suite of products has not been in the market long enough for one to offer definitive opinions. The likes of Salesforce.com and Microsoft already have established customer bases, and it will take Oracle some time to get there. Secondly, and this too is a personal opinion, Larry Ellison is someone who is prone to hyperbole. Consider some of his quotes of the past – “It’s Microsoft versus mankind, with Microsoft having only a slight lead” and “A corporation’s primary goal is to make money. Government’s primary role is to take a big chunk of that money and give it to others” and it’s clear he is not one for understatement.
In conclusion, I would say that Oracle may very well become the company with the most comprehensive cloud on earth. As of today, that would be a difficult claim to support.
By Sourya Biswas