Ellison Claims Simplified Cloud Pricing Gives Oracle an Edge Over AWS

Today’s topics include Oracle adjusting cloud services pricing to overtake Amazon Web Services; Cloudflare and Google’s collaboration on app developer incentives; Salesforce updating its Sales Cloud with Einstein AI forecasting; and Wowza’s launch of its ClearCaster professional streaming appliance for Facebook Live.

Previewing its OpenWorld conference next month, Oracle gave details of its autonomous, or “self-driving,” database and a simplified pricing scheme for cloud computing customers.

During the briefing, outspoken Executive Chairman Larry Ellison took aim at rival Amazon Web Services. “Our approach in the cloud business is to lower your costs and risks by completely autonomous software that runs itself and eliminates the cost of human labor. That’s very different than what Amazon is trying to do. They are not even working on this,” Ellison claimed.

Central to Oracle’s pricing scheme matching what AWS charges, but still offering a better deal or lower total cost of ownership. Ellison asserted that Oracle runs twice as fast as AWS, resulting in a 50 percent cost savings for customers.

Under a new collaboration agreement between Google and Cloudflare, startups writing applications for Cloudflare's App Platform can now qualify for up to $100,000 in credits to use Google's cloud infrastructure for their development work. Some startups will also be eligible for round-the-clock technical support and access to engineers from Google's technical solutions team.

Organizations that receive the free Google Cloud Platform credits will be allowed to use them in any manner they want, and developers will also be able to use the credits on Google's machine learning and artificial intelligence APIs.

Cloudflare co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince said the initiative is designed to encourage developers to write applications that integrate well with Cloudflare's content delivery network. He noted, "This is just another example of how we’re continuing to find new and collaborative ways to encourage app development and unlock access to Cloudflare’s global infrastructure in a scalable way.”

Salesforce.com has several big improvements planned for its Sales Cloud CRM platform, driven by the company’s Einstein artificial intelligence software. These new features are designed to deliver a “next generation of Sales Cloud” that includes better sales forecasting and insights into individual and sales team’s performance.

Salesforce also announced a new $50 million Salesforce AI fund it hopes will accelerate development of “transformative AI solutions” for the Salesforce platform. As for Sales Cloud, the most significant new feature is Einstein Forecasting, an automated tool for making forecasting more accessible and accurate. The software is particularly designed to address inaccurate sales projections by companies using spreadsheets and older forecasting systems.

“We’ve brought AI to forecasting. It’s like a crystal ball for sales managers,” Will Moxley, senior vice president of product marketing at Salesforce, told eWEEK.

Wowza Media Systems, respected for more than a decade for its video streaming expertise, is releasing ClearCaster, an appliance designed and built in collaboration with Facebook that provides professional-level streaming video on Facebook Live. ClearCaster auto-configures the optimal settings for each session’s conditions and use case, intelligently monitoring real-time stream health and automatically adjusting stream settings to ensure uptime and quality.

Wowza might not be a household name, but it has 20,000 customers in 170 countries worldwide, with about 40 percent of all streaming video producers using Wowza’s de facto industry standard media server. Wowza plays a major part in streaming about 15 million viewing hours per day, co-founder David Stubenvoll told eWEEK.