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Oracle Cloud SVP Shawn Price says “suites win” in cloud computing war with AWS and Microsoft Azure

Scott Carey | Feb. 5, 2016
Oracle's SVP for cloud lays out his strategy for dominating the lucrative cloud computing market

"What's beautiful about this is that the same skill sets that you are confident with behind the firewall transfer seamlessly to the cloud. Multiple programming environments, all apps and support for heterogeneous workloads. This platform as a service, today, powers the 19 largest SaaS companies in the world. SAP uses it, Salesforce uses it."

Catalysts for change

Price laid out a set of catalysts driving companies to the cloud through the eyes of a CEO, CIO and CFO.

"If we look at the CEO, what's really forcing them to modernise?" asks Price, "the first is a vast change in consumer expectations. The applications that you use to run your businesses weren't contemplated with personalisation, or content that is searchable, or mobile and social."

Then there is Oracle's traditional lifeblood, the CIO: "They tell me they've bought ERP from me, or some German company [Price was fired by SAP in 2014]. They say: It cost us millions of pounds, it took us two years to implement, we customised it beyond recognition, and we pounded on your door saying 'please innovate' because we're stuck. This is no longer acceptable because of the agility required."

Then there are CFOs: "By far the single largest [catalyst] is around operating efficiency and upgrade avoidance. They don't want to upgrade that ERP on premises. They want to rationalise, they say: I want a shared service that I can distribute across various entities."

Moving customers to the cloud allows Oracle to implement a more agile upgrade cycle, with the company producing around 500 upgrades every 90 days instead of having to wait months or even years.

Customer engagement

Price believes that cloud has hit an inflection point and that the old model of Oracle turning up "in suits and skirts" in order to pitch companies on the benefits of cloud are done. "I don't want to try and convince companies to move to the cloud, I'm only looking for those natural catalysts and that's what's propelling and fuelling the growth," says Price.

He proposes a new engagement model for customers where: "We come to see you at 9am tomorrow morning and we present to you what we think is state of the art across eighty percent of the use cases looks like. We share with you what we think are best practices with adoption, we can price you on what it takes to go live in 90 days, potentially on a fixed price, fixed bit. We can build a vision that shows you what you are going to add next, we can give you pricing and we can connect you with companies that have done it at a greater scale and complexity."


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