Update from OpenWorld

Top of Mind

Update from OpenWorld

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  December 05, 2013

I recently spent a week in San Francisco at the Oracle OpenWorld event. Among top speakers were Larry Ellison and Michael Dell. (For details on Dell’s news and the Dell keynote, see the Open Source (News - Alert) and Special Focus sections of this magazine.)

For its part, Oracle made several news announcements. But probably the biggest news of the show was that Ellison skipped out on his Tuesday keynote to participate in the America’s Cup boating event, in which the Oracle (News - Alert) team placed first.

Oracle used its event to talk about it cloud strategy and expanding product line. Oracle Cloud delivers Customer Experience, Enterprise Resource Planning, Human Capital Management, and Social service suites. And at the event in late September the company announced that Oracle Cloud services also now includes Billing and Revenue Management Cloud, Business Intelligence Cloud, Compute Cloud, Database Cloud, Database Backup Cloud, Documents Cloud, Mobile Cloud, Java Cloud, Object Storage Cloud.

The company also has opened for business its Cloud Marketplace, where Oracle partners can publish their applications and customers can access them. It includes more than 100 business applications developed by Oracle partners.

Chris King, senior director of product marketing- communications industry at Oracle, explained that Oracle Billing and Revenue Management Cloud helps enterprises evolve from selling physical to digital goods by providing them with a subscription-based billing system. Billing, King added, is a relatively complex process, so this solution removes one of the key challenges in this customer transition.

Most organizations offering solutions on this front, King added, are startups, so they don’t have the depth of experience offered by Oracle, which already provides on-premises billing solutions for hundreds of customers.

“This represents a safe choice,” said King, adding that Oracle offers a proven solution and has the financial and human resources to support its customers.

He went on to say that customers using the new Oracle Billing and Revenue Management Cloud can bill on wide variety of metrics, including time, volume, or just about anything else.

As for the Business Intelligence Cloud, it provides visual, interactive dashboards, available via the web and mobile devices, for administration, analysis, data loading, and modeling. Compute Cloud offers elastic compute capabilities to run any workload in the cloud. And Database Cloud lets customers spin up dedicated database instances as needed, and supports any Oracle Database application.

Meanwhile, Database Backup Cloud allows Oracle Databases to be backed up and replicated to the Oracle Cloud. Documents Cloud enables folks to do secure file sharing and collaboration via desktop and mobile devices. Java Cloud provides Oracle WebLogic Server clusters for deployment of Java applications and gives full administrative control over the service with automated backup, recovery, patching and high availability capabilities. Mobile Cloud lets businesses to build and secure any application to run on any device connected to any data source. And Object Storage Cloud offers a highly-available, redundant, and secure object store for lots of unstructured data.

I got into San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld on Monday afternoon, so I missed seeing Larry Ellison’s (News - Alert) opening address. But I caught part of it via the stream available on Oracle’s website, and during his talk Ellison discussed the data center of the future. He said more purpose-built machines in the data center of the future, and that by designing hardware and software together you enable people to use fewer machines, less floor space and electricity, and allow for better management. That will also make things much more reliable, he added.

Isn’t that what the growing network functions virtualization camp keeps telling us is exactly what we’re supposed to be moving away from?

I understand that concepts usually aren’t as simple as they may at first seem. For example, we heard a lot about the public cloud and its many benefits. And all that’s true. But recently we’re starting to hear more about private and hybrid clouds as well, which just goes to show that not every solution meets every need, and that new technologies often morph and are redefined as they move forward.

In any case, Ellison’s discussion about developing hardware and software together was a real jolt after hearing so much about disaggregation of the two.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi