Oracle's Ellison slams competition

2014 has been the turning point for Oracle, says the company's executive chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison.
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2014 has been the turning point for Oracle, says the company's executive chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison.

Oracle executive chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison, yesterday took a swipe at the competition in the enterprise software market.

In his keynote address at the Oracle OpenWorld 2014 conference in San Francisco, Ellison, who recently stepped aside as Oracle's CEO, took a swipe at fellow competitors like Salesforce.com, Workday and SAP, among others, saying they all rely on the Oracle database for their cloud applications.

Market analyst firm Gartner points out that while the bulk of enterprise software is still deployed on-premises, software-as-a-service (SaaS) continues to undergo rapid growth. The firm says the total market will top $22 billion by 2015, up from more than $14 billion in 2012.

According to Ellison, 2014 has been the turning point for Oracle, as the company is now providing services in all three layers of the cloud - SaaS, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

"We are not only specialising in software-as-a-service like Salesforce.com; and we are not only specialising in infrastructure-as-a-service like Amazon.com. This is a promise that we made to our customers more than 30 years ago," he said.

"We have, by far, the largest portfolio of software applications. In 2014, we adopted a build and buy strategy in order to increase our portfolio in the space."

He also touted Salesforce.com as being a late entrant into the market, as the company has been in business for only 15 years and only started taking off about nine years ago, he said.

"Salesforce.com is there to help you forecast the quarter. The difference is we design sales software that helps your sales people engineer sales campaigns and sell more."

Ellison also boasted that 2014 has been a very busy year for Oracle in SaaS innovation. "It has been an inflection point for us and a turning point. We are the biggest sellers of HR solutions because our human capital management (HCM) solution is linked to our social tools."

He pointed out that HCM in the 21st Century is not simply about payroll and benefits. Modern HCM has to enable the company, at large, to communicate more clearly with employees, he noted, adding that it must enable smooth two-way competition between the management and the employees. "That's social HCM and this is where we are excelling," said Ellison.

According to Ellison, Oracle is also capturing a huge chunk of market share in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space.

"We are also excelling in ERP. We are the only company selling high-end enterprise resource planning solutions in the cloud. We are also doing well in enterprise performance management solutions designed for big companies and mid-size companies," he said.

He also bragged that the foundation of his company's platform is called the Oracle database; and on top of that is the world's largest Java cloud service.

"Believe it or not, Oracle is the only cloud vendor that allows enterprises to use the platform Oracle develops on. No one else offers their own platform. Most of our SaaS competitors don't have any platform at all.

"Salesforce.com is a little different - it has a proprietary platform - which is our platform. So Salesforce develops on our platform. It uses our database to build its applications," he said.

"But, at least, Salesforce has something in our proprietary platform. The other guys - Workday - don't have a platform at all. They are missing in action. SAP, I will try to be nice, when they say cloud, they mean Oracle because they also run on our database."

Admire Moyo
ITWeb's business editor.

Admire Moyo is ITWeb's business editor. He has been a tech journalist at ITWeb since 2010. Before joining ITWeb, Admire worked for The Herald newspaper based in Zimbabwe. He holds a BA degree (English and History) from Africa University.

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