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Larry Ellison, founder and CTO of Oracle, has described Oracle's entrance into the cloud arena as an overnight success 10 years in the making.
No one was surprised that Ellison's opening keynote at Oracle OpenWorld 2016 covered the cloud. Oracle has been promoting itself as a cloud company at every opportunity, and cloud was a major topic of discussion among users as well. But, while Ellison talks about Oracle cloud technology as the culmination of the past 10 years, others see Oracle's cloud footing as being on shakier ground.
When Ellison talked about the past 10 years as a build-up to the cloud, he included products like Real Application Clusters, released in 2001, and Exadata, released in 2008. Oracle's first product built for the cloud, Oracle Fusion Applications, wasn't released until 2011, but it was originally announced in 2005, with the specification from Ellison that it would be software-as-a-service ready.
The shift to the cloud requires not only changes to Oracle's technology portfolio, but also to its business practices. Oracle has always relied on large annual licensing fees, which isn't a business model that works well for the cloud. Oracle is now talking about small, monthly subscription fees, which is a more cloud-friendly proposition, but one that is a definite break from Oracle's business as usual.
Oracle users are also seeing a change in their business as usual. The advent of Oracle cloud technology has led to shifts in the role of IT in the workplace as user-friendly cloud tools give business users more capability to do things for themselves. Some IT professionals are finding their job roles expanding or changing in ways that bring IT closer to business departments.
In this video recorded at the OpenWorld conference, Jack Vaughan, senior news writer for SearchDataManagement, and Jessica Sirkin, associate site editor for SearchOracle, discuss the changes Oracle cloud technology is bringing and what Oracle still needs to do to prove itself as a cloud company. According to Vaughan, "It's going to be a wait and see."