Oracle, Social, Cloud and Mobile (OpenWorld 2011, part 3)

With social computing, cloud and mobile being the big buzzwords in IT right now, it makes sense to ask where Oracle is in relation to these hot topics. Having attended various briefings, sessions and keynotes at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, and discussing with knowledgeable people, I’ll offer my opinion below.

First, does Oracle get social? Well, they’re paying it lip service with Larry Ellison demonstrating social features in Fusion Applications. But they don’t really understand that users already have Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ – and adding yet another social network inside your enterprise application is unlikely to take off. Oracle has hinted that Oracle Data Service might allow you integrate information from other social networks, but that’s still vaporware. And since Oracle has both a suite of proprietary social applications and an OpenSocial product, their strategy in the social space is still unclear. Grade: D

Next, does Oracle get cloud? Not completely, but they are moving in the right direction with the cloud offerings announced an OpenWorld. However, this is still vaporware, and if the thrice-announced Fusion Applications is anything to go by, it will take a while before this offering actually materializes. All we know right now is that they are moving from the usual paid-up-front perpetual licenses to monthly licensing – but that’s still a long way from the hourly billing of a real elastic cloud service. Grade: C

Finally, does Oracle get mobile? Definitely, yes. Many demos included iPads for running enterprise applications, though it is still done using a Safari web browser. But they are working on a mobile container to be installed on your mobile device, which would allow much better integration with other apps and native widgets on your mobile device. Grade: B

2 thoughts on “Oracle, Social, Cloud and Mobile (OpenWorld 2011, part 3)

  1. I think you are being a bit unfair on the social side. The ‘in-company’ social networks such as Yammer and Salesforce’s Chatter already have some traction in corporate environments. They serve a different purpose to people’s ‘public’ social networks.

    It is possible that Google Plus will target that when/if it launches for Google Apps customers, but there’s room for Larry to get into that market, especially if he is tryng to chase out Salesforce.

  2. I understand that Oracle needs a social product for marketing reasons – but they “get it” just as little as Yammer and Salesforce. I don’t think these tools have all that much actual usage – they get bought after a cool demo (like the one Larry gave), but building online communities is HARD. More than 90% of all attempts to build professional online communities fail – so trying to make your users use yet another social network will fail for most organizations.

    Additionally, Oracle has two specific points against them in social:
    * Multiple products: In addition to WebCenter Oracle Social Network, there are also social capabilities in the WebCenter Portal product (an activity stream portlet). Which one should I use? Oracle provides no direction.
    * Pricing: The Social product is not listed separately on the Oracle price list (http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/technology-price-list-070617.pdf), so it seems you have to buy the WebCenter Suite at 4000$ per user – a bit steep since both Yammer and Chatter starts at zero.

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