This Editor is once again attending the Oracle Open World conference here in San Francisco and we will be publishing impressions throughout the week. We began our coverage with highlights of Oracle’s Q1 FY17 financial performance last week.

Last night, Oracle Executive Chairman and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison kicked off this year’s event with his always anticipated opening keynote. The main theme of his remarks was naturally the ongoing trends in the adoption of Cloud based computing and how Oracle is faring in the market.  Placing Ellison’s wealth and sometimes arrogance aside, in all the years that we have observed him, we have come to admire his market perceptions.  Larry Ellison knows the IT market, make no mistake about that.

From our lens, there were three important takeaways from this opening keynote that will set the tone for Oracle’s efforts in the coming year.  One was Ellison’s statements related to Oracle’s current prime competitors. For Cloud based IT infrastructure, Oracle views Amazon and Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its prime competitor and Ellison indicated aggressive plans this year for Oracle to take on AWS in the market. Mentioned as very admired and respectable in this segment was Microsoft. Not mentioned at all was the IBM Cloud. In the ERP and applications segment, Oracle continues to view Workday as its prime Cloud ERP competitor.  Ellison once again specifically stated that is was not SAP.

Of the six major design goals for Oracle Cloud, Ellison again stated that security is by far the single most critical requirement. To emphasize this ongoing concern, he reminded the audience that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be the single most important person to influence this year’s U.S. Presidential Election via alleged hacking of candidate and other governmental emails. To support required security requirement, Oracle continues with efforts to deploy always-on continuous defense and data encryption surrounding its entire Cloud infrastructure.

And then there was the statistics related to current customer adoption momentum in areas such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and Cloud ERP. Ellison boasted that the company’s current run rate is to sell $2 billion of Cloud based technology this current fiscal year. Customer uptake counts for Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle CX Cloud were shared. Specific mention of Oracle SCM Cloud (Oracle’s complete suite of Cloud based supply chain management and manufacturing applications) was made noting that Oracle sees no direct competition, similar to our Supply Chain Matters previously stated view.  However, unlike the other Cloud applications suites, no customer uptake stats were shared from the podium.  We have noticed this for months now, and our goal for the remaining sessions of this year’s OpenWorld is to probe deeper on current market uptake or lack thereof.

As usual, there was a blizzard of new technology and applications announcements also made during Ellison’s keynote, too numerous to go into at this point.  The one that did catch this Editor’s interest  was the upcoming Oracle Database 12C Release 2 was will feature increased support for multi-tenancy along with a much faster and more secure in-memory support capability.  This is noteworthy since it is clear that Oracle will offer the market technical and overall cost alternatives to SAP’s HANA database strategy in both IT infrastructure, operating cost, data security and performance dimensions. The other initial takeaway for Database 12C Release 2 market introduction is that initial deployment will be confined to Cloud based as opposed to on premise. There is obviously something more to this strategy.

Stay tuned to our continuing coverage of Oracle OpenWorld 2016.

Bob Ferrari

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