Microsoft Touts Uptake of Oracle Software on the Azure Cloud

Microsoft says its year-old partnership with Oracle to run Oracle software on the Microsoft Azure cloud is paying off with major customer adoption.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft announced that customer adoption for Oracle software on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform is strong and continues to grow.

The devices and services giant made the announcement at Oracle OpenWorld 2014, the venue where a year ago Microsoft and Oracle announced a partnership to run Oracle software on Microsoft Azure so that Oracle customers could run their enterprise applications in a globally available cloud platform.

Today at Oracle OpenWorld, IFS, an Oracle partner and Microsoft customer that provides global enterprise applications, announced the availability of its IFS Applications suite on Microsoft Azure. The new offering reduces the need for hardware infrastructure to provide customers with a cost effective, rapid and secure way to benefit from IFS Applications.

“The technology base for us is we sit on top of an Oracle database and primarily an Oracle middleware stack,” Mark Boulton, chief marketing officer at IFS, told eWEEK. “You could use Red Hat JBoss or you could use IBM software, but we include the Oracle middleware stack as standard with our software.”

In addition to avoiding many of the high upfront costs normally associated with on-premise solutions, the cloud-based offer from IFS enables customers to easily increase the breadth of their deployment as well as scale the number of user-seats in line with business growth. IFS officials said the Azure cloud environment also delivers data protection and business continuity features that a typical on-premises installation would not include.

Last year’s Oracle/Microsoft cloud agreement “was really exciting for us because we’ve been very close to Oracle and they’d been banging on our door for a long time asking us to look at the Oracle cloud platform,” Boulton said. “But for a lot of reasons we’ve struggled to make that work–mainly commercially, I think technically we could make it work. From a commercial point of view, I think Oracle was a bit slow to shape out their offering fully and get the commercial side of it together. What was really exciting about the Microsoft announcement from last year was that they had done all that hard work for us. They negotiated the license agreements with Oracle–all the stuff about being licensed to the virtual environment and not the physical environment. That made it so easy for us to take our offering onto the Azure platform–all we needed to do was do the technical vetting for the solution and bring it to market.”

The full suite of IFS Applications, including all enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) and enterprise service management (ESM) modules, can run on Azure. Customers wanting to use IFS Applications in the cloud can leverage Azure either as an Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) and self-manage their IFS Applications, or to have their IFS Applications hosted and managed as a service (SaaS). The IaaS offering is available now and the SaaS offering, including both technical and application managed services, will be rolled out over the next six months.

“Collectively our customers are currently running Oracle solutions on Azure for millions of hours per month,” said Mike Schutz, general manager of cloud platform marketing at Microsoft in a post on the Microsoft Azure Blog.