Oracle's seven pillars of cloud put SaaS at the core

At Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday the company gave details on seven new services within its cloud that place an emphasis on appealing to specific business tasks, rather than providing more general infrastructure-as-a-service technologies.

Oracle has updated its cloud with a raft of own-designed applications for specific business tasks. 

The seven new 'Oracle Cloud Services' were announced by Thomas Kurian, Oracle's executive vice president of product development, in a keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday. The services run the gamut from high-end software-as-a-service technologies, like financial reporting, right down to infrastructure-as-a-service cloud object storage.

Thomas Kurian outlines Oracle's seven new cloud services at OpenWorld 2012. Image: Jack Clark

"Our mission was very simple: it is to bring Oracle's leading enterprise technology - our database and our middleware - to any customer, any user, any partner anywhere in the world through the internet browser," Kurian said.

The seven services are based around planning and budgeting; financial reporting; social network data analytics; a hosted corporate social network; a developer service; a storage cloud and a message cloud.

Kurian spent most of his keynote talking about the cloud services that stem from Oracle's core expertise in human capital management and databases . As for the two lower-level components - messaging and storage - he said very little. This fits with the overall trend of this year's Oracle OpenWorld, which is the company making ambitious statements about its entrance into infrastructure-as-a-service without providing any concrete information.

All of the products are available for use from Tuesday, excluding the financial management 'Hyperion' software-as-a-service application.

Pricing for the services was not given.

Oracle's 'cloud cathedral'

There is a saying in England that 'if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail'. From my perspective, Oracle is putting the greatest emphasis on the components of the cloud service that come from the technologies it is already experienced in. As for the less familiar infrastructure-as-a-service components, like messaging or storage, the company has stayed quiet.

However, if Oracle wants to appeal to developers that do not already use Oracle technologies, it will have to give more information on IaaS. I am beginning to think the company has no appetite to truly compete with Amazon, and is instead building a ' cloud cathedral ' for existing customers.