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Oracle OpenWorld 2015: Larry Ellison vaunts Oracle’s cloud services over rivals

Larry Ellison promoted his company’s cloud services and berated rivals in his opening keynote at Oracle OpenWorld 2015

Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chief technology officer and chairman, said at the supplier’s 35th OpenWorld event that the customers of his company and other companies are in the early throes of a transition to cloud computing.

In a wide-ranging keynote address, Ellison stressed the longevity of the cloud trend. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, such as Salesforce and Workday, he said, have been around for 15 or so years. Oracle’s own Fusion programme of middleware, rewriting the supplier’s suite of applications for the cloud, began a decade ago, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is 10 years old.

He told OpenWorld delegates and those watching online that Oracle realised from the start that it had to be in the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and SaaS business, which also implied being in infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

“We decided we would take all of our applications to the cloud a decade ago. We are almost there – it’s not just about taking existing software to the cloud, but that every line of code is being written on Fusion middleware,” he said.

Ellison took a sideswipe at fellow enterprise IT giants IBM and SAP, saying that Oracle comes across neither of the companies in the market for cloud-delivered enterprise IT. “They are nowhere,” he added.

SAP’s in-memory database platform Hana is two times slower than Oracle’s in-memory product Exadata, he said, adding that SAP’s cloud-based procurement network Ariba, its human capital management software SuccessFactors and its expenses software Concur are all acquired properties that run on Oracle database software.

Ellison disclosed a range of product announcements, including two features for big data environments. One is a data preparation service and another is a visualisation service, similar to Tableau’s visualisation software, he said.

He joked that “ever since [his] demotion to chief technology officer”, he had been given “all sorts of stuff to do”, as well as having his salary cut. He said that as a newly minted Oracle salesman, he was benefiting from a “just-in-time learning system the competition does not have”. This might involve taking a quick class in the company’s human capital management software as part of a sales pitch, for example.

He said that Oracle’s six design principles for the cloud were security, low cost, reliability, high performance, putting open standards in command, and compatibility between on-premise and cloud installations of the supplier’s software. His second Oracle OpenWorld 2015 keynote on 27 October will be focused on security, which Ellison described as the most important of the six.

The conference in San Francisco features more than 2,500 sessions and 3,000 speakers.

To coincide with Ellison’s first keynote address, Oracle introduced a so-called Exa Your Power programme to help its customers migrate Oracle Database from IBM Power systems to Oracle Engineered Systems using Intel technology.

It also announced a cloud programme for its partners, to be launched in February 2016. This will offer Oracle Partner Network members “the opportunity to showcase expertise, skills and their investment in the Oracle Cloud, as well as differentiate themselves with Oracle’s integrated cloud applications and platform services”, said the supplier in a statement.

Read more about Oracle OpenWorld

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UKtech50 2015: The most influential people in UK IT - read all our coverage

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