Oracle CEO Mark Hurd says Enterprise Cloud Migration in Early Stages

During a “media day” for journalists, Oracle executives discussed the company’s enterprise cloud strategy and announced a big deal with AT&T affecting 70,000 service personnel.

Oracle Cloud Strategy

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—When it comes to cloud computing, Oracle Corp. wants it all. The database giant held court on a variety of topics focused mainly on its cloud computing strategy here at company headquarters during a media event.

“We think this transition to the cloud fully will take a decade,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd in opening remarks.

In a later question and answer session, Hurd qualified that forecast to estimate that 80 percent of corporate data centers will transition to cloud computing in the next ten years and that the testing of applications under development would go completely to the cloud. That latter point is far from trivial.

“About 30 percent of all IT is dev test. So if IT is a $1 trillion dollar market that means over $300 million is in dev test," which involves the development and testing of new applications, Hurd said. “We think there’s a high likelihood all of that moves to the cloud.”  

Hurd also predicted that cloud computing security will go from being a concern to enterprises considering moving their data center resources to the cloud, to being a major benefit.

Oracle has already convinced major customers like AT&T to move more of its operations to Oracle’s cloud, but it’s not just big companies or even long-time Oracle customers. “We had 1,125 brand new customers in the last quarter, but if you think these were Oracle customers migrating to the cloud, you’d be wrong,” said Hurd who estimates 60-65 percent are new customers. These include Boingo Wireless and ride-sharing service Lyft.

“In fairness, a lot of these are companies that didn’t have IT shops,” said Hurd. “The cloud opens things up where we can go after everyone from startups to the enterprise.”

Oracle announced that AT&T signed an agreement to move thousands of its large scale internal databases to Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Under the agreement, AT&T will migrate thousands of existing Oracle databases containing petabytes of data along with their associated application workloads to Oracle Cloud.

Hurd said the AT&T agreement involves the largest field service deployment on Oracle Service Cloud in North America and will serve 70,000 AT&T field technicians.

While cloud computing has been hyped for years and there have been many high-profile deployments, Hurd said that it’s still a relatively low percentage of enterprise spend. “We’re still in the first inning,” he said, noting that Oracle’s cloud sales are at roughly a $5 billion run rate and growing 50 percent a year. “It’s growing faster than anything in the enterprise which in general is growing at a flat to one percent rate.”

One of the reasons some companies are moving very slowly, if at all to the cloud is complexity. “It’s a lot easier to say ‘Hey, let’s move to the cloud’ than to actually do it,” said Hurd. “There are a lot more workloads to deal with as you get into moving applications.”

David Donatelli, Oracle’s executive vice president of converged infrastructure, said Oracle aims to reach more potential cloud customers with the most comprehensive offerings of any provider. For example, in addition to public cloud, Oracle has a unique “Cloud at Customer” offering for companies that want the features of a public cloud on their own premises.

While so-called private clouds offer that benefit, Oracle’s Cloud at Customer is more pre-packaged. “A private cloud is anything you want it to be and they’re all different because the customer picks their own hardware and automation,” he said.

“What people like about the public cloud is that they don’t have to do all the work." With Oracle Cloud at Customer, "we do all the work,” said Donatelli. That includes Oracle hardware called "Oracle Public Cloud Machines," software and support for managing big data via the Hadoop open source framework.

Several Oracle customers gave video testimonials at the event including 3D printing company Carbon that is working with Adidas on developing the first mass production process to offer custom, high performance athletic shoes to consumers. Carbon uses a number of Oracle cloud applications including Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle Human Capital Management, Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud.

“We’re building processes and systems that work together harmoniously. We have a million data points,” said Chris Hutton, director of business operations at Carbon. “Our vision is that I’ll be able to switch on my iPad in the morning and see the status of our company.”

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...