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"Amazon's lead is over” - Why Oracle is off-target in cloud

James Henderson | Sept. 21, 2016
Larry Ellison seeks headline moment at Oracle OpenWorld, but facts get in the way.

Larry Ellison - Chairman and CTO, Oracle
Larry Ellison - Chairman and CTO, Oracle

"Amazon's lead is over.”

It’s the sort of outrageous statement that Larry Ellison has become famous for - direct, dismissive and downright arrogant, all wrapped into one.

As the Oracle chairman and CTO stood on stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco - kicking off OpenWorld 2016 - he once again went for the jugular, in a bid to cut his industry rivals down to size.

“Amazon is going to have serious competition going forward,” he claimed. “And we're very proud of our second generation of Infrastructure as a Service.

“We're going to be focusing on it and aggressively featuring it not only during Oracle OpenWorld but for the remainder of this fiscal year and next fiscal year and the year after that.”

In showcasing innovations across the vendor’s integrated cloud computing platform, Ellison introduced Oracle Database 12c Release 2, as well as more than 20 new Oracle Cloud Platform and Application services.

“We have more SaaS applications by a huge margin than any other cloud services provider,” Ellison claimed.

“We have HCM suite, CRM Suite, Customer Experience Suite plus lots and lots of industry suites as well. And we're constantly, constantly adding to our footprint.”

Specific to Amazon Web Services - the outright industry leader in the public cloud, Ellison was naturally equally as boastful.

"Our new second-generation data centres offer twice as many cores as Amazon, twice as much memory as Amazon, four times as much storage as Amazon, and more than 10 times the I/O capacity of Amazon,” he claimed.

“But you have to be willing to pay less. If you're not willing to pay less, you can't place the order. Oracle competes at all three levels of the cloud, all three tiers of the cloud.”

Yet Ellison may have bitten off more cloud than he could chew this time around, in his pursuit of an outright industry leader.

Slim chances

With Amazon Web Services (AWS) all too aware of its growing competition base within the IaaS market, as Microsoft edges ever closer, Ellison’s assessment of the industry stands at odds against his rivals.

In touting the cheap, fast public cloud line, Ellison entered a price war with two vendors seemingly keen to compete on value.

As explained by Microsoft executive vice president of cloud and enterprise, Scott Guthrie, to GeekWire this week, “we’re not seeing press releases saying ‘We’re cutting 10% across the board” - that kind of craziness seems to have slowed down.”

Speaking at a Deutsche Bank conference, Redmond’s cloud chief stated “for the most part, we (Azure and AWS) aren’t competing on price”, seriously contradicting the motives of Ellison and Oracle in hammering home dollar value.


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