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Strange Bedfellows – Oracle’s New Partnerships
Posted on June 27, 2013
Author: Ron Woodlock, Performance Architects

in Shakespeare’s Tempest, Trinculo is forced to shelter from a storm with someone he scorns and says of it “misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” The storm facing today’s technology titans is cloud computing. Oracle has announced a number of cloud computing related deals with bedfellows recently scorned.

Strange bedfellows #1: Oracle and Dell announced on June 4, 2013 an alliance that would enable Dell customers to deploy solutions with Oracle’s enterprise software with a joint-infrastructure solution. The press release stresses the combined solution would be high-performance, low-cost and has superior customer support. What makes this alliance strange is that Dell and Sun have traditionally been competitors.

Strange bedfellows #2: Oracle and Microsoft announced on June 24, 2013 a partnership where Oracle’s software will be deployed on Microsoft’s Hyper-V and Windows Azure. The press release tag line describes the benefits: “Deal will help customers embrace cloud computing by providing greater choice and flexibility.” Larry Ellison is quoted as saying “It’s Microsoft versus mankind, with Microsoft having only a slight lead.” This quote is few years old and I think Microsoft’s lead has shrunk considerably since then making this deal possible.

Strange bedfellow #3: Oracle and Salesforce announced on June 25, 2013 a nine-year partnership that will combine their cloud computing offerings. For its part Salesforce will standardize on Oracle’s Linux operating system, Database, Java Middleware platform and the new Exadata engineered systems. This announcement comes less than one year after Salesforce announced a strategy moving away from Oracle’s database in favor of PostgreSQL an open source competitor. The CEOs of these two companies have had a hot-cold relationship. I guess it is hot again for now.

In the twenty-two days Oracle has announce deals with three rivals – to what end?

All three deals increase Oracle’s reach with small and mid-sized companies, something its traditional sales approach isn’t addressing. The Microsoft and Dell agreements provide Oracle the opportunity to grow market share with customers that would have otherwise been inaccessible. The deal with Salesforce not only eliminates PostgreSQL as competition for Salesforce’s business, but also opens up a channel to sell to Salesforce’s customer base.

Cloud Computing may be the latest fashion or a new paradigm that is here to stay, whichever, it is being looked to by companies big and small as a way of:
• Cutting Cost – of in-house hosting of applications
• Reducing risk – technical complexity, disaster preparedness / recovery
• Increased flexibility – to scale environments and applications up and down without significant lead times and capital investment
These three deals broaden Oracle’s options with regard to offering cloud based solutions.

All three deals depart from Oracle’s traditional do-it-yourself approach. For this new approach is to be successful each partner will need to invest significantly to ensure the delivered solutions are tightly integrated and well supported. Otherwise the cloud could turn into a tempest that no strange bedfellow can save them from.

Author: Ron Woodlock, Performance Architects

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