Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has made much hay proclaiming that the term “cloud computing” is over-used, mis-used and misconstrued. He has a point. Kind of.
So get ready for Oracle to go on the cloud offensive in coming weeks, with a series of “road shows” or cloud computing forums (fora?) kicking off this month. Watch for Oracle to tout its tight relationships with Amazon and Google and other cloud pioneers.
For Ellison’s take on the cloud, flash back to last week’s marathon Web conference where Oracle execs outlined their Sun vision (and inserted hardware into Oracle’s tagline–a portentous change.)
Said Ellison: “Everything’s called cloud now. If you’re in the data center, it’s a private cloud. There’s nothing left but cloud computing. People say I’m against cloud computing–how can I be against cloud comptuing when that’s all there is?”
He also stressed what will doubtless become another key Oracle message, which is that Oracle software (and soon hardware) powers other people’s clouds.
“We already run applications for our customers. Salesforce.com, would you agree that’s cloud computing? Way to go. What do you think they use as a database? Oracle. What do you think they use for middleware?”
“Itunes? What do they use for a database? The fact that you attach your computer to the Internet does not fundamentally change the model. Hotmail’s been around for a long time. Salesforce.com has been around for more than a decade. We’ll continue to sell databases, applications and middleware, adn that’s all the cloud is.”
Still, longtime Oracle partners say Ellison squandered what could have been a golden cloud opportunity–or actually spun it off when Oracle licensed its small business suite out to NetSuite (then NetLedger) as that company’s first product. Ellison remains a shareholder in NetSuite. He also owned a chunk of Salesforce.com back in the day. Ellison is definitely in the cloud, but not necessarily as Oracle’s CEO.
How cloud-focused would Oracle look now if Ellison had kept all that inhouse, asked this partner. Salesforce.com continues to trounce Oracle CRM On Demand across the board, he said.