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Oracle cloud computing strives for relevancy with Salesforce.com deal

Mark Fontecchio

Oracle has announced a nine-year deal with Salesforce.com just a day after partnering up with Microsoft in the cloud.

The new Oracle-Salesforce.com move will mean that Salesforce.com

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will standardize on Oracle Linux and run on Oracle Exadata, Oracle Database and Java. The two also announced that Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM) and Financial modules will be integrated with Salesforce.com's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) cloud.

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Meanwhile, further Oracle cloud partnership announcements with NetSuite and Amazon are expected later this week.

"Over the past decade, Oracle has been the laggard in the cloud," said Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research. "So basically Oracle woke up and realized they weren't going to be relevant."

What better way to fix that, Wang said, than to partner with the cloud's biggest players.

Both Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff released statements praising their partner in the deal, a far cry from the repeated jabs the two have shared over the years. The sparring was most noticeable at Oracle OpenWorld 2011, when  their back-and-forth remarks led to Oracle canceling Benioff's scheduled presentation at the event. In the past, each has called the other's cloud computing products "false clouds."

Now apparently their respective clouds are "real" enough to team up.

“Larry and I both agree that Salesforce.com and Oracle need to integrate our clouds,” Benioff said in a statement.  “Salesforce.com's CRM integrated with Oracle’s Fusion HCM and Financial Cloud is the best of both worlds: the simplicity of Salesforce.com combined with the power of Oracle.”

“We are looking forward to working with Salesforce.com to integrate our cloud with theirs,” Ellison added.  “When customers choose cloud applications they expect rapid low-cost implementations; they also expect application integrations to work right out of the box -- even when the applications are from different vendors. That’s why Marc and I believe it’s important that our two companies work together to make it happen, and integrate the Salesforce.com and Oracle Clouds.”

From the Oracle perspective, Wang said the new partnerships are the company's way of pushing its way to cloud relevancy. And with products like Oracle Database 12c running in Microsoft Windows Azure and now supporting Salesforce.com, the company also has ammunition when trying to convince customers to adopt 12c. It can point to those deals and say, "Why not you?" according to Wang.

"You don't think of Oracle and cloud in the same sentence today," Wang added. "What they're trying to say is that they are an effective arms dealer in the cloud."


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