It wouldn’t be an Oracle customer conference without a trash-talking keynote speech from cofounder Larry Ellison.
Ellison didn’t disappoint on stage Sunday night at the Oracle Open World conference in San Francisco. Talking to 60,000 attendees and seven million people online, Ellison took on Workday, Amazon and, to a mild extent, Salesforce.com in the typical ways, proclaiming Oracle bigger and/or better than these rivals.
But he really slammed his long-time rival SAP, who made waves earlier this month by buying expense software company Concur for $US8.3 billion, and proclaiming that the acquisition made SAP the second-largest cloud company by revenue.
Ellison insists that many big cloud providers are using Oracle technology, either relying on the Oracle database or on Java, the uber popular software development language Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010.
And then he said: “Let’s talk about SAP. I’m going to try to be nice. But it’s so hard!”
He picked on SAP’s database, HANA, a product that hits Oracle where it hurts, in its bread-and-butter database market.
Ellison says that most of SAP’s cloud have used Oracle. “Ariba runs on Oracle. SuccessFactors runs on Oracle. They just bought Concur, it’s moving to Oracle. I have no idea what runs on HANA, but it ain’t their cloud. That runs on Oracle. It’s rude but it’s the truth.”
The rant got a big laugh from the audience, most because they like Ellison’s irreverent style.
Why does it matter?
Companies no longer want to buy and install all the technology they need. They want to rent their technology on a subscription basis, letting their vendors maintain it. It’s a big shift away from the way companies like Oracle, SAP, HP, Cisco, IBM have always sold their products. Enterprise tech vendors want to show Wall Street they are making progress getting customers to buy their cloud instead of losing deals to cloud-first companies like Salesforce.com or Workday.
Ellison trotted out his own statistics about Oracle’s cloud, saying it is bigger than people think: it supports 62 million users each day performing 23 billion transactions a day. He said that Oracle has signed over 2100 new customers for its cloud software in the past year.
We reached out to SAP for comment and will update when we hear back.