Oracle Turns Cloudy But Is It Too Late?

| About: Oracle Corporation (ORCL)

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison is hosting a webcast today to take the wraps off what he calls Oracle Cloud.

He claims this is all part of a seven-year strategy originally called Project Fusion and that it is "the most comprehensive cloud on Earth." This means it delivers a full cloud Infrastructure, a Platform which includes software tool, Software as a Service, and a social platform akin to Facebook.

Pricing will be per-user and per-month. In this Oracle is focusing on (NYSE:CRM) as its key competitor.

This makes sense, because the pricing model makes this a complete non-starter against platforms like Red Hat's (NYSE:RHT) OpenShift or OpenStack, launched originally by Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), which are selling software enterprises use to build their own clouds, or's (NASDAQ:AMZN) EC2, which is offered based on "instances" that include a full cloud infrastructure.

While Ellison said the company has put thousands of engineers to work over seven years building this, it also includes offerings from Oracle's recent cloud technology acquisitions such as RightNow and Taleo. He's also quick to note that he was an early investor in both and NetSuite (NYSE:N).

Ellison makes for great copy but he has a bigger problem here. While Oracle wants to be the one-throat-to-choke for all its customers, cloud technology is based on open source standards and vendor cooperation, both of which are anathema to Oracle's business model.

The new offering may convince Oracle's existing customers that they have a cloud guide, but it seems unlikely to convince anyone who is already using cloud that trusting Larry is the way to go.

Disclosure: I am long AMZN.