Oracle's Ellison schools OpenWorld audience about cloud infrastructures

Summary:CEO Larry Ellison discusses how Oracle's approach to integrating social throughout SaaS applications is different from the competition.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The cloud is the star of the show at Oracle OpenWorld this year, but Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was quick to inform the keynote audience on Tuesday afternoon about what he thinks they need to know about the evolution of cloud technology.

Essentially, Ellison's main argument is that every time you buy a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application, you buy the underlying technology because it has to run on something.

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In a way, that reinforces president Mark Hurd's comments during a Q&A session on Monday that the cloud is now another line of service for Oracle alongside hardware and software.

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Here are the quick hits on Ellison's cloud rhetoric:

  • "You may have to connect up that application in the cloud to another application in the cloud from another supplier or an application you have on-premise. You need to consider not only the application you're buying but the platform on which it rests."
  • "Standards are still important. Just because we're in the cloud doesn't mean we forget about standards and make everything proprietary again."
  • "Just because the application is in the cloud doesn't mean you have to do any work. You're still going to have to interconnect these applications."

Ellison admitted, "Building this cloud has been years and years of internal development at Oracle supplemented by key strategic acquisitions." Oracle has been building up its social portfolio with recent acquisitions such Involver and Collective Intellect.

Never one to shy away from addressing competitors directly, Ellison boasted Oracle has more SaaS applications than any other vendor.

"We're the only cloud application company that gives you a choice of deployment. The only one," Ellison declared.

In comparison to Salesforce.com, Ellison argued that those customers can only run their apps through "one place on Earth, and that's the Salesforce public cloud." Ellison further slammed Salesforce by asserting its customers can't move those apps in-house behind their firewalls nor can they purchase those licenses.

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Ellison also targeted Salesforce in an area that the CRM giant prides itself in: social. With the integration of social at the platform layer, Ellison posited that this approach represents a big difference between Oracle and its competitors when it comes to social.

This means integrating social engagement and listening tools within Oracle's Social Relationship Management platform across its marketing, sales, commerce, service, human resources, talent mangement and collaboration apps.

Looking forward, Ellison predicted many of its on-demand and on-premise customers are going to choose to move to the Oracle public cloud, describing it as "a very interesting alternative they didn't have up until now."

Initially, Oracle expects the demand to be heavy in North America, but Ellison said that the hardware giant expects, as the technology matures, the demand will break down geographically as the market breaks down: more evenly split between North America, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

Ellison forecasted hopefully, "This time next year we'll have thousands of Oracle Cloud customers."

More coverage from Oracle OpenWorld 2012 on ZDNet:

Topics: Oracle, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Software

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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