Another Oracle OpenWorld closed out last week, and the one thing that really stood out for me was how much the cloud messaging has spread across Oracle (ORCL). Usually I do a recap of OOW itself, but this year I've decided to focus on all that Oracle is doing to build out its next generation of enterprise solutions. Sometimes the large, traditional enterprise software vendors take a lot of heat for not leading the way to the cloud, but, at least for Oracle, it's becoming clear that cloud is now a core part of its strategy. The rest of that argument, are they "late" or early or just in time, doesn't make a lot of difference if, in fact, the current path solves its customers' current problems, and gives the customers a level of comfort that Oracle has a reasonable strategy for offering them a way to continue to leverage modern technology and approaches when it provides them the right business value.
Does the large enterprise want to move 100% of its IT needs to the public cloud? The obvious answer is no, not yet. Don't get me wrong, there are some compelling reasons to start moving some things to the public cloud, and most of the Fortune 5000 are doing that when it fits their strategy and needs. But the world of big enterprise IT is hybrid, with part of the necessary solutions still on premises and a growing part in the cloud, be it public or private.
I'm not going to get lost in that rant though, so let's look at what Oracle is doing. Like most of the overall messaging post Sun acquisition, the cloud messaging is all about providing a complete stack of services. No surprise that database as a service is a big part of the foundation on which the rest is architected, it is Oracle after all. So the offering is rounded out now with a cloud platform / infrastructure, a broad selection of apps and a partner marketplace. Here's a short list of the portfolio:
- Java / Developer
- Business Intelligence / analytics
- Cloud Collaboration / Document Share
- Social Relationship Management (Oracle Social Network, social marketing, social media monitoring and response, socialytics)
- CRM (marketing automation, sales force automation and service)
- ERP (financials, PPM, procurement, supply chain)
- HCM (core HCM and talent management)
- Enterprise planning and reporting
- A few current examples (and growing) - Box, xactly and Big Machines CPQ
One of the areas of investment for Oracle is around user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). In particular, there are new tools and a simplified experience for all the cloud apps that extends to some new mobile and analytic apps. The overall UX research extends out beyond the cloud apps as well.
With a broad apps and infrastructure portfolio and an underlying PaaS, Oracle is moving rapidly to provide a complete enterprise public cloud, in addition to private cloud and on premises options. From the many cloud customers I talked to at OOW, there seems to be a lot of movement to hybrid deployments and a lot more interest in continuing to shift more apps in the cloud.