Oracle's Amazon-killer might really be six months away

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison delivers the keynote address during the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference on September 30, 2014 in San Francisco, California.GettyOracle co-founder Larry Ellison delivers the keynote address during the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference on September 30, 2014 in San Francisco, California..

At Oracle’s enormous customer conference held last month in San Francisco, company execs talked endlessly about Oracle’s plan to dominate in the cloud computing business.

There’s just one problem with that.

Some of the newest cloud services announced at the show that compete directly with the biggest cloud player, Amazon, are not publicly available yet.

And it could be another six months before Oracle actually launches these services, an anonymous Oracle employee told Infoworld.

This includes the biggest new cloud service that Oracle announced, its “Elastic Compute Cloud.” This service competes so directly with Amazon’s Elastic Compute, that Oracle even used the same name.

Ditto for Oracle’s Oracle’s network cloud, which securely connects a company’s data centres to the Oracle cloud. The one direct competitor that is available is Oracle’s storage cloud, the service that competes with Amazon’s S3 service.

At the conference keynotes, as with the press release, Oracle was fairly vague about how long it would before these cloud services could be ordered with the “swipe of a credit card”, as Larry Ellison promised.

The Oracle employee told Infoworld:

Obviously we just announced Compute Cloud, but in reality I don’t see a true Compute Cloud in place for six months. Our announcements are always a minimum of six months ahead of the technology. This has been true of every single cloud announcement.

Oracle cloud sign up pageOracleOracle’s cloud service sign-up page is lacking a ‘try it’ button

There’s good reason Oracle wants to tell its customers about its cloud plans as far in advance as it can. There’s a race to capture billions of dollars in revenue as enterprises race to shift from their own infrastructure to cloud services. Amazon is the acknowledged leader with Microsoft coming on strong, Google a growing player, and IBM pushing its way in, too. If it can convince customers it has something better coming, they might just wait before they go all in with a competitor.

As for the delay, Ellison told Wall Street analysts during the conference that Oracle was right now building “our second generation of data centres as we speak.”

You can’t offer people the ability to rent computers and storage from your data center (a.k.a. cloud services) until your data centres are up and running.

We also know that Oracle has a crack internal team working on a new cloud project to compete with Amazon that started in early 2015, and is being scheduled to enter private beta late next year with select customers.

The problem for Oracle is that it’s already late to the cloud game. Amazon’s cloud is a profitable $US7+ billion business with sales growing at the crazy rate of 81% in its last quarter, compared to the year ago quarter.

But it’s not just the revenue. Because Amazon has been in this market the longest, it also offers way more cloud products than anyone else, has a huge partner ecosystem, and is adding new services at a blindly fast rate.

Even when Oracle does enter the game, its going to be hard for it to compete with the enormous Amazon cloud, let alone Microsoft. The best it can do is to keep talking up all its great plans and trying to get its customers to wait.

Oracle declined comment.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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