Eye on Oracle

Feb 16 2007   12:48PM GMT

Is Oracle afraid of Google?

Ken Cline Profile: Clinek

Oracle and other major software vendors like SAP, IBM and Microsoft are either making or planning to make a big deal about Web 2.0. And, according to one prominent industry analyst, a primary motivation for this may be their desire to stave off an impending attack from search engine giant Google.

Google, says Jim Murphy, an analyst with Boston, Mass.-based AMR Research, has started putting together a suite of collaborative enterprise applications. And while no one knows exactly what the suite will look like, Murphy says it’s a safe bet that it will incorporate so called Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, and RSS feeds.

“Google is poised to introduce an alternative to the traditional way of getting at enterprise information,” Murphy said. “They’ve been demonstrating this capability on the external consumer Web for some time and, if you’re talking about Web 2.0 types of trends, [some] of the expectations really come from the Google experience.”

Oracle this week introduced its new WebCenter Suite, a set of tools that adds an interaction layer to Oracle applications, giving users the ability to collaborate via blogs, wikis and RSS feeds. Oracle says WebCenter will serve as the foundation of the user interface to Oracle’s Fusion Applications when they debut beginning in 2008.

And while providing insight into the user interface is a significant step forward on the road to Fusion, says Murphy, it’s not Oracle’s only motivation.

“They’re all trying to fend off Google,” he said.

What do you think? Does Oracle have something to fear from Google? What about IBM and SAP, or Microsoft for that matter?

— Mark

7  Comments on this Post

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  • Jojo
    There is no doubt that Google is going to put out some of the best enterprise level suites online and this is going to generate great revenue for them and they can give it for free unlike the others. However, Google is Google and Oracle is Oracle. Why worry? Each competes in different markets, the competing areas won't matter. Jojo
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  • Todd Ryder
    I mostly agree with the "oracle is oracle and google is google" sentiments of the 1st commentor. But I wish to add that in the end, everyone is afraid of google. Google invests in (the smartest) people whereas other corporations maximize investment in technology while seeking to minimize investment in people. In the long run, the all-online, best/smartest-people approach might actually win over the all-technology, people-as-commodities one.
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  • Simon Ellis
    Both the previous commentators have valid points. I would like to add that Oracle has for many years had the opportunity through its portal product, Collaboration Suite and now Web Centre software to steal a march on Google. By including these types of technologies in a keenly priced bundle could have seen Oracle web 2.0 tech at the heart of many enterprises. However, I believe that Oracle may have missed the boat on this one. Larry was once a real visionary in this kind of space. He has been kinda quiet of late and its beginning to show at Redwood Shores.... great tech, too late and potentially overpriced. Is Oracle afraid of Google..... maybe not afraid, but you can bet that Oracle is intently watching every move Google makes.
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  • Dave
    All good points. Perhaps I am oversimplifying here but Google = Free since they make $ off of adds and other ways right? Oracle = BIG $. So this Oracle WebCenter Suite would have similar products to what Google could offer soon right? I guess depending on security and if your ok with Google hosting your databases(do they use Oracle? :) ) and such then Google seems to me like the clear choice to make. After all, you need alot of $ to run Oracle but if your a large company that can afford Oracle then perhaps there is some marketing distinction not yet apparent?
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  • Bob Grove
    Oracle's stock in trade has been high-quality, full-featured products at a stiff price that are complicated to install and use. There are competitors who win on price or ease of use, but not function, and not on enough points to make a difference to large scale operations ... I can't wait to see what a Googlized suite of enterprise apps looks like. The only thing that trumps an 800-pound gorilla is a smarter, friendlier 800-pound gorilla.
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  • Matt Searle
    If a company has it's own data in an Oracle database that they own and host, then they can control access to it. If Google is hosting it, then they don't. I remember reading about Google hosting documents online - if I have them on my PC and the police want to see them, then they need a search warrant etc. to get them from my PC in my house. If they are on Google then they don't need to go through the same process. If I were a company, then I would question the security model, and data access rights that third parties may have, before moving everything onto the free model. As for Dave's post (4) - no, I don't think Google run Oracle.
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  • shelton
    Firstly, Google is an Oracle customer and runs an Oracle Database and even if Google enters the Oracle business space, they can't think of beating Oracle cause the apps database will have to be from Oracle and not Google because everyone knows that data is not secure and privacy safe when Google hosts it on it's servers.
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