Oracle's Database 12c, which offers multitenant and in-memory options, is generally available and the latest release is the company's primary product to quell concerns about the competition.
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To say Oracle has a lot riding on Oracle Database 12c is an understatement. Oracle Multitenant is aimed at customers looking to consolidate and manage multiple databases. The In-Memory option takes Database 12c and allows for faster data crunching and real-time analytics.
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Oracle rival SAP has been touting in-memory analytics via its HANA platform. SAP has also been using HANA as a way for customers to move off Oracle databases. Oracle's Database 12c's In-Memory option is at least partially designed to keep customers in the fold. After all, rip and replace isn't easy for databases.
Meanwhile, Oracle's flagship database could also keep the licensing and maintenance revenue streams rolling as the company transitions to a cloud computing and subscription business model. Oracle plans to offer its database in multiple models including Exadata appliances.
Andrew Mendelsohn, executive vice president of Oracle's database and server technologies, has been making the rounds with Wall Street analysts to talk up the latest database release. His primary message is that in-memory is going mainstream for all applications. Oracle's in-memory option has a dual format database that can handle both analytics and transaction processing without changes to applications.
Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard said that the latest Oracle database could expand the market. He said:
Many industries such as financial services, telco, and retail have used in-memory for trading systems, network operations, and pricing. But with new modern systems such as Oracle’s Database In-Memory, the market should significantly expand in size...A breakthrough of the In-Memory piece is the dual format database, displaying both row and column formats for the same table. Generally, customers prefer the column format for analytics and row format for transaction processing. In our view, utilizing both approaches is a major innovation and competitive advantage.
Maynard said Oracle's Database 12c won't immediately boost the company's financial results, but just a small upgrade cycle could boost licensing revenue as well as engineered system sales. Maynard added:
While we don’t expect Oracle to penetrate the entire installed base, a small percentage of paying customers could positively affect Oracle’s license growth rate. We are forecasting new software license revenue and cloud subscription combined growth of roughly 4% over the next three years. If Oracle is able to convert some of its hardware deployments to engineered systems, it should sustain 3-5% growth.