Oracle And Salesforce Have Big Iron Fists In Velvet Cloud Rhetoric

Includes: CRM, ORCL
by: Dana Blankenhorn

Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Marc Benioff of (CRM) have had big fun this week railing against one another and their cloud visions.

Benioff, previously a regular speaker at Ellison's OpenWorld event, had his keynote moved to the event's closing and rather than accept the snub moved his speech to a nearby restaurant. There he claimed that, rather than accept the new reality, Ellison had introduced a new mainframe, that he had lost the plot of communication. Relating to individual customers is the heart of the cloud, he said.

Ellison, for his part, said he is finally getting serious about delivering Infrastructure As A Service, a key cloud technology, by uniting his Fusion applications platform and old Software as a Service infrastructure into what he called the Oracle Public Cloud. Making cloud services available is the heart of the cloud, he said.

They are both wrong.

I'll go further and say that neither Oracle nor Salesforce is a real cloud player. Clouds are all about using open source and open standards to reduce vendor lock-in and break free of limits imposed by using any single server, or any single location, in solving business problems.

  • Oracle's Public Cloud isn't a cloud because it's based entirely on Oracle technology, on Oracle-made hardware running in server farms, and Oracle software running enterprise applications.
  • is a single Software as a Service stack, and not a cloud at all. You can build applications on that stack, but you're still locked-in.

If you're not open, if you're not focused on reducing costs, you're not offering cloud solutions. You're part of the problem clouds are meant to address.

There is an old saying in the law that when you don't have the facts argue law, when you don't have the law argue facts, and when you have neither pound the table. Both Marc Benioff and Larry Ellison spent this week pounding the table. Investors should take note and dump both from their cloud portfolios.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.