Eye on Oracle

Dec 5 2012   7:49PM GMT

Prediction for 2013: SMBs finally ascend to the cloud

Lena Weiner Lena Weiner Profile: Lena Weiner

It’s not too early for me to start making predictions for the New Year, is it? I’ve got one.

It’s becoming hard to imagine life without cloud computing in some form or another. You likely use Salesforce, LotusLive, Taleo or RightNow for work. Chances are you have a Gmail account. Maybe you use a nifty app like Mint.com to track your finances. It’s quite possible that the music at the last party you went to was streamed through Pandora, and I’m willing to wager the party pics are available for everyone to see on Facebook.

In both home life and the corporate world, cloud computing is swiftly becoming an established fact of life. The only area where cloud adoption is lagging a bit is with small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). And Oracle is looking to change that.

Historically, Oracle has been the database provider of the 1%. But Oracle’s been branching out. Now, it’s not just databases anymore. Software, hardware, you name it, Oracle’s in it. Heck, I’m half expecting Oracle to get into underwear next. As I reported last week, Oracle has been trying hard to get into markets it previously hadn’t tapped, as well as trying to ditch their big-companies only image. Being the bringer of the cloud to SMBs is the perfect way to do this.

Oracle is offering integrated solutions around its x86 and SPARC servers which bundle storage, server, networking, databases and virtualization into one solution. This sort of cost-effective bundling will appeal to price-conscious SMBs. While Oracle’s intentions are to make money, not be nice to the SMB guy, this move could easily be beneficial for all involved, making commodities like cloud storage, BI apps and other helpful cloud-based programs.

Oracle’s main competitors in this field are Salesforce, SAP, Google, Microsoft and, of course, various smaller players that have been taking advantage of the limitations SMBs face like DropBox, Egnyte, LogMeIn and Quickbase, among many others. I’ll bet the box of See’s Chocolates my mom is sending me for Chrismukkah this year that we’ll see Oracle getting much more aggressive on selling the cloud to smaller businesses this next year, in addition to churning out an original cloud product or two and, as Oracle is known to do, buying up a bunch of hip cloud startups.

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