Throughout the history of the software industry there have always been giants, behemoths, and gorillas in their respective spaces, and without a doubt, Oracle is one that, more than most, has stood the test of time. Ellison’s management style and often outspoken views have regularly made tech headlines, as his soundbites have been regurgitated through the mainstream and tech press outlets.
Today, with the purchase of Eloqua, Oracle, and in particular Ellison, has undermined significantly claims (as recently as last month) that the cloud was still misunderstood by Oracle. I think it’s fair to say that Oracle (one of the few companies globally generating more than $1bn a year from Software-as-a-Service), through its purchase of one of the most progressive SaaS providers in the Inbound Marketing space, has quickly gained a very real appreciation for Software-as-a-Service. The aggressive movement of a company such as Oracle into the SaaS space augurs well not just for the future ‘hyper-prosperity’ of Oracle, but for the software industry in general.
Oracle has moved to optimize its solutions for ‘The Cloud’ and is making it easier every day for SaaS companies to adopt its technologies into its stack. There’s a saying, ‘Its a wise man that changes his mind’, and Ellison’s clear reversal from his Cloud bashing three years ago (see: http://youtu.be/UOEFXaWHppE), to his rapid, and very successful move into ‘The Cloud’ now seems to form a very clear and present strategy for the company. I believe this is a great move for Oracle and hope that this sends a message to every other bloated enterprise software company out there that is still trying to cling to its perpetual enterprise pricing model, that ‘The Cloud’ is not just vapor (as Ellison would say), but rather, it is the near past, present and future of successful software companies and in turn their customers.
Next on the agenda for Oracle (I would suggest) is to look at its own pricing model, and begin to apply the principles that it is finding so attractive among its acquisition targets. (i.e. Pay-as-you-go, zero upgrade headaches, plug-and-play, instant gratification, zero tech skills required, etc. ) When that day comes, we may at SaaS Markets, as a leader in our respective industry niche, consider using Oracle to power our marketplaces…but until then I will watch with interest as Oracle continues the successful (and necessary deconstruction / reconstruction of its business) as it weans itself off the ‘Revenue reliance’ of the ‘Post Perpetual-License’ revenue models of yesteryear.