Oracle announced its plans to offer a price-competitive infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud starting some time in 2014. The Wall Street Journal covered Oracle's second quarter earnings call, saying, "Ellison says Oracle intends 'to compete aggressively' with the 'commodity infrastructure-as-a-service marketplace.'" However, Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, did not give many other details on how Oracle will compete against established IaaS vendors such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM or RackSpace.
Oracle is also competing in the software as a service (SaaS) market. Oracle recently announced plans to acquire Responsys, a company specializing in managing marketing campaigns. This acquisition expands Oracle's marketing service, known as Oracle Customer Experience Cloud, which includes commerce, sales, service, and social modules and the Oracle Marketing Cloud.
This will add to Oracle's offerings that compete with leading enterprise SaaS providers such as Salesforce and Workday. "Our strategy of combining the leaders across complementary technologies signifies Oracle's overwhelming commitment to winning and serving the CMO better than any other software company in the world," says Mark Hurd, President of Oracle.
Another part of Oracle's multi-tiered cloud strategy is to sell specialized hardware to enterprise customers. Oracle recently announced the availability of the Exalogic Elastic Cloud X4-2 in its line of engineered systems. The engineered systems combine compute, networking and storage hardware in a single consolidated rack unit.
Given Oracle's second quarter earnings, it is not clear how the company's multi-tiered strategy will work going forward. On the positive side there was a 35% growth in Oracle's software as a service business. However, the Wall Street Journal's report also points out a 1% drop in adjusted software licenses and cloud software subscriptions revenue. Oracle was able to beat analyst expectations in hardware sales.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Sullivan is a freelance technology writer whose concentrations include cloud computing and video game development. He is based in Portland, Oregon.