Looking back on 2015: The year of Oracle cloud services

In 2015, we saw the release of Oracle cloud services and a complete cloud platform, an increase in Oracle confidence in the cloud market and a new take on user experience.

For Oracle, 2015 has been the year of the cloud. At Oracle OpenWorld, the company emphasized the cloud, showcasing Oracle cloud services and making a point of challenging cloud platform leaders. Of the 10 keynote speeches at OpenWorld, eight of them had a cloud element and four of them were explicitly about the Oracle Cloud. Oracle's user groups are also taking a lot of interest in the cloud, creating new special interest groups for cloud topics and building cloud education resources. To mark the year of the cloud, SearchOracle presents the top-three cloud events of 2015.

1. Oracle completed its cloud platform with new cloud services

Larry Ellison, Oracle's CTO and executive chairman of the board, announced in June that, with the release of more than two dozen  new Oracle cloud services, Oracle would soon have a comprehensive cloud offering. Services included Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Integration Cloud, Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Commerce Cloud and Oracle Mobile Cloud Service. As of October, the last component of the core set of Oracle cloud services, Oracle Manufacturing Cloud, was added to the applications suite. "We're now prepared to call our application suite complete, which means that you can now move everything in your data center to the Oracle cloud," Ellison said in June. Oracle offers the same technologies in the cloud and on premises, which Ellison said makes it easy to move a database into the cloud or back on premises from the cloud.

2. Oracle challenged its cloud competitors, especially Amazon Web Services

At OpenWorld 2015, several Oracle keynote speeches specifically challenged the company's rivals in the cloud, especially Amazon Web Services, which is considered by many to be the gold standard for cloud. Ellison gave a speech touting Oracle cloud services and directly challenging competitors. Oracle's product development head, Thomas Kurian, took a more subtle approach: He announced that Oracle was adding a new portfolio of infrastructure as a service offerings. The most notable addition was the Oracle Elastic Compute Cloud, which was designed to allow users to scale their cloud environments. However, Oracle Elastic Compute Cloud might be most noticeable for sharing a name with the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. It looks like Oracle is laying down the gauntlet.

3. Oracle designed its cloud user experience for citizen developers

A big theme over 2015 has been an attempt to increase the accessibility of the cloud for business users. Oracle provided business users with the ability to create no-code applications, plug-and-play custom dashboards and easy-to-use interfaces. For instance, Oracle API Manager and SOA Cloud were designed with the "citizen developer" in mind, said Amit Zavery, senior vice president of integration products at Oracle. The trend toward business user enablement has also made it to the Oracle user groups. Independent Oracle Users Group President Maria Anderson feels that the increasing capability of business users to run Oracle technology without assistance is going to fundamentally change the way IT professionals do their jobs. She cites the cloud as one of the main technologies pushing forward this change in IT.

This list is far from an exhaustive look of all of Oracle's cloud events for 2015. However, the complete suite of Oracle cloud services, belligerence toward rivals in the cloud and focus on user experience are all hallmarks of 2015, and trends to keep a watch on in 2016.

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