Stockbrokers were taken by surprise by Oracle’s Cloud revenue when Oracle announced quarterly results last week, and Oracle stock duly jumped by seven percent. It has fallen back somewhat since but is still up three percent.
(source: Yahoo Finance)
Oracle Cloud revenue is up by 63% and now makes up 13% of Oracle’s $9.3 billion quarterly revenue. It is not clear how much of this is the “cloud credits” that is reportedly bundled into renewal and new on-premise deals. It will be interesting to see if customers find a good use for these credits and will buy more once they are used up.
As an ERP and database company, it would make the most sense for Oracle to push their strong SaaS and PaaS offerings. SaaS and PaaS currently make up 85% of Oracle cloud revenue, but they have decided to try to muscle into the already-crowded market for commodity computing services. With $195 million of IaaS revenue, it doesn’t make much sense for Oracle to try to catch up to Amazon’s $3.5 billion.
Oracle currently hosting a series of Oracle Code events across the world, today in New York. You’d expect an event with this name would focus on Oracle tools, but no. Oracle instead decided to throw together presentations on every buzzword they could think of. So if you attend an Oracle Code event, you can hear about Node.JS, DevOps, microservices, Agile, Docker, Spark, JSON, Chatbots, and Kafka.
This is like Sears or Macy’s sponsoring a snowboarding competition. The hip crowd might show up, but they won’t shop at the department store afterward.
Oracle has powerful, productive, mature tools like APEX and ADF, as well as new and interesting things like Oracle JET and Application Builder Cloud Service (ABCS). But they decided to spend this year’s developer outreach budget on events almost completely unrelated to Oracle technology. Not a smart move.
As an Oracle developer, don’t this marketing misstep get you down. Oracle has great development tools, even if they don’t talk about them. And hey, today’s Oracle Code event in New York even has a session on SQL and PL/SQL by Peter Koletzke. There is hope.
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In two weeks, I’m off to Croatia for the Oracle PaaS Partner Community Forum. The agenda covers a lot of the Oracle PaaS cloud services:
SOA Cloud Service
Integration Cloud Service
API Cloud Service
Java Cloud Service
Application Builder Cloud Service
Developer Cloud Service
Application Container Cloud Service
I’m looking forward to seeing the latest improvements to the Oracle Cloud services and hearing from my fellow ACE Directors who have actually used them.
This event is free for Oracle partners who are members of one of the EMEA Oracle partner communities. The conference runs from March 27 to March 29 with optional hands-on workshops on March 30 and 31. There might still be spaces left – check the registration page at http://tinyurl.com/paasForum2017.
If you can’t make it to Croatia, and you have a burning question about Oracle PaaS Cloud services, feel free to comment and I’ll try to have your question answered by one of the knowledgeable presenters there.
My answer on Quora to a Java developer looking to become an Oracle SOA developer:
You don’t want to become an Oracle SOA developer, for two reasons: SOA and Oracle.
First, Service-Oriented Architecture has over-promised and under-delivered for a decade. The only reason SOA is still around is that many big enterprises has invested millions of dollars and are unwilling to admit that SOA was a mistake. It takes skilled architects, care and attention to realize the benefits SOA promised, and most organizations didn’t have that.
Second, Oracle is focusing on their cloud products, and the future of on-premise SOA is uncertain. All new features are rolled out in cloud services first and then, maybe, eventually, in the on-premise products.
Instead, learn micro service architecture and the associated technologies. Modern application landscapes are too complex for centralized SOA architectures, but micro services can be rolled out and integrated with the speed modern organizations need.
My answer on Quora to “How does MariaDB compare to Oracle?”
Nobody uses MariaDB, don’t go there. You should compare MySQL to Oracle instead.
MariaDB is a fork of MySQL created by the original MySQL developers. They had cashed out and sold MySQL but hated the idea that Oracle bought their baby. According to DB-Engines Ranking, MariaDB is at place 20 with a popularity score of 45. MySQL is in second spot with a 1380 score, only a whisker behind Oracle at 1404.
Comparing Oracle and MySQL:
Oracle has every feature you can dream of, including a powerful proprietary programming language, and scales up to ridiculous sizes and speeds. If you need some of that, it’s worth the high cost
MySQL has every feature a normal developer needs in a database, and even the free community edition will meet most needs.
Oracle has never been a developer-friendly company. Historically, they have produced brilliant technology, made it freely available, and let it be up to the developers to figure out how to use it.
That strategy is failing today, for three reasons:
Oracle is no longer indispensable. Open source offerings now provide what only a large company like Oracle could manage a decade ago.
Poor access to cloud services. Much software is cloud-based, and Oracle only offers short, poorly-managed trials to developers used to unlimited access on-premise.
Oracle is one of the most-hated IT companies. Their business practices, including aggressive license reviews and lawsuits, means that CIOs are trying to replace their software and developers seek to avoid them.
I’ve been a loyal Oracle developer for decades, but I’m afraid Oracle has lost the hearts and minds of developers. My son is finishing his B.Sc. in IT and wouldn’t dream of using Oracle tools. If you are an Oracle developer with more than 10 years until retirement, I advise you to start planning for your time after Oracle.
My answer on Quora to “How is Oracle’s financial and strategic performance?”
Answer by Sten Vesterli:
Financially, they have hit pretty close to their targets and their stock has been steady around 40 for the last year. Oracle has been working hard to increase the share of revenue from cloud services, including bundling on-premise deals with a lot of “cloud credits” they can count as cloud revenue. Since they haven’t had significant cloud business until recently, everybody is waiting to see if customers will renew.
Strategically, they are using their massive cash hoard and strong cash flow from existing customers to increase their cloud offerings, both by rolling out new services and by buying cloud providers like NetSuite. In vendor comparisons, Oracle’s cloud offerings are currently way behind the market leaders. But they have a strong commitment and strong financial resources, so they might eventually become a significant cloud player.
Oracle has just announced that they are discontinuing the main benefit of participating in the Oracle ACE program at the highest level: The annual briefing at Oracle HQ before the OpenWorld conference. Together with previous cuts in travel funding, this leaves the program as little more than a logo to put on your website.
Before cloud, Oracle was a big player in on-premise enterprise software. They made very good software, so it made sense to cover the cost of flying independent experts to Oracle HQ for briefings on the latest software. Having armed the experts with the latest knowledge and software, it also made sense for Oracle to pay their travel costs as they went out into the world and advocated it.
Today, Oracle is struggling to pivot towards being a cloud vendor. The independent experts are saying straight up that most of their cloud services aren’t very good yet, so Oracle is not getting any return on its investment in the ACE Directors.
I’ve been happy working with Oracle in my ten years as an Oracle ACE Director, and sincerely hope they become successful in the cloud. Once they are, it will make sense for them to restore funding for the ACE Director program. But right now, the cuts make sense.
Moving your software to a cloud vendor has always been an act of faith. You believe the vendor will honor their promises, fulfil the SLA and stay in business.
That’s why many are choosing the big names like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
Oracle wants to extend its brand into Cloud computing as well, but they are not even on Gartner’s radar, and with their recent decision to double the cost of running Oracle on Amazon, they are not endearing themselves to customers.
No matter which cloud vendor you choose, make sure that you establish an exit strategy in advance. You need to be able to keep your systems running even if your cloud vendor suddenly folds. That means that you need to establish a procedure to continually transfer data from your cloud to a third part (or back to yourself). Don’t get stuck in the cloud.
Even a billionaire like Larry Ellison has to cut his losses at some point, and Oracle has finally given up on SPARC and Solaris. With Oracle laying off 450 people at its hardware division in Santa Clara, it seems that the idea of building super-powerful “software in silicon” chips is dead. The Solaris roadmap also no longer feature a release 12, but instead a maintenance-looking Solaris11.next.