Last week, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said a huge new partnership would be coming this week with Salesforce.com. Oracle is being tight-lipped on when that announcement will happen, but we’ve got some clues as to what it will be about.
“Larry and I both agree we need to unite our clouds,” Marc Benioff, cofounder and CEO of Salesforce told the New York Times’ Quentin Hardy. “Oracle is a very important part of our strategy.”
By “unite our clouds” Benioff likely means that this new deal will be about letting their clouds talk to each other, Hardy reports. Sharing information between clouds has become a big issue for enterprises. For instance, when a company keeps its customer records in Salesforce and its human resources records in Oracle’s cloud, there’s no good way for data to get from one service to another.
But there could be more to it than that. They may also be announcing that Salesforce will be signing on to use Oracle’s next-generation cloud database known as Oracle 12c, reports ZDNet’s Larry Dignan. JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens thinks that Salesforce may have signed a contract with Oracle for the new database worth up to $300 million over five to seven years, Dignan reports.
Salesforce currently uses Oracle’s database. That’s a throwback from the days when Benioff, a former Oracle exec, founded the company with Ellison’s blessing and some of his money. Over the past few years, the two CEOs have grown increasingly competitive as their companies go head-to-head in new software-as-a-service markets.
Salesforce had been making loud noises that it could eventually yank out Oracle and replace it with an open-source alternative called PostgreSQL. That would have been a blow to Oracle. It would prove to other enterprises that this upstart database is a strong, safe alternative to Oracle for cloud computing.
But if Salesforce agrees to use Oracle 12c, that’s a big endorsement for Oracle.
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