Now that the dust has settled from Oracle OpenWorld, it’s time to take stock of Oracle’s cloud strategy. Oracle’s been getting a lot of bad press recently about difficulties with their cloud. Thomas Kurian left. Some folks are saying that Oracle is not investing enough in their cloud. Some folks are saying that Oracle is too far behind AWS and Azure and can’t catch up. Well, I beg to differ. I actually think that Oracle’s has what could be a brilliant cloud strategy…for Oracle at least.
Let’s talk about that for a second. They don’t say that they have the best servers or the best connectivity, or that they have the best security. When you really listen to Oracle talk about cloud, they believe they have the best infrastructure technology. And what does that mean? It really means database. Oracle is actually relying on their database to win the cloud wars. It’s as simple as that. They’re not going to compete on size and scope of how many servers and how many data centers.
It’s basically schoolyard rules. And what do I mean by that? Well, you see, when I was in grade school and we would go play ball, there was a simple rule: the kid who brought the ball got to set the rules. So my ball; my rules. Oracle is using the same philosophy with their cloud. They’re saying it’s their ball and it’s their database, so if you want to use it, you’re going to play by their rules. And how does Oracle do that? Well, it’s very simple:
First in their contracts, they put language limiting you or prohibiting you even at times from deploying their products in third-party clouds. If they can’t get you with their contracts, they’re going to get you with we call it the “MSU methodology”, which is “make stuff up”. They’re going to put it in policy documents. These are documents that aren’t even in your contract that they just post on their website and they want everyone to listen to. So they’re going to say in those policy documents where you can and can’t use their ball, their database.
If they don’t get you with the MSU Methodology, what they’ll do is they just won’t release their stuff on third-party clouds. Oracle has already started last year where new versions of the database were available on Oracle cloud first. So you couldn’t get it and had to wait in line. If you were an on-premise Oracle customer, you had to wait in line before you got that functionality. With new things like autonomous database, Oracle is saying “hey, it’s only in the Oracle cloud”.
So that is how Oracle plans to win the cloud war. It’s not by their cloud, it’s by their database. Oracle’s ball; Oracle’s rules. Clients who are savvy and negotiate really good contracts, who can navigate through the MSU methodology, can get by that and can absolutely move to the cloud that you want whether it’s Oracle’s or Microsoft’s or Amazon’s or IBM’s or Google’s or whoever’s. You don’t have to follow Oracle’s lead, you can chart your own path.
Now if you are one of those clients who uses Oracle and you’re worried about Oracle, check out our three-point plan to help you navigate Oracle with training and workshops. Talk to your peers and if you get audited by Oracle, we represent you at no additional cost. Those are Palisade’s rules and Palisade’s ball.