Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle pointed out during this week’s Cloud Summit that consumer tech spending has caught up to enterprise tech spending, and is accelerating. Enterprise tech spending, in contrast, is under all kinds of pressure. He did not say it but in several presentations by him and many of his executives over the last year I have noticed a focus on internal efficiency in light of the tightening industry macro-economics. Chris Leone, SVP Applications Development, for example, shared 80% reduction in bugs reported even as cloud application feature counts and page views have increased dramatically over the last couple of years.
It helps that Mark has a keen eye for data and benchmarks – mountains of it (his own slides tend to be mostly white space but his commentary is data rich). Joyce Westerdahl, SVP of Human Resources described one of Mark’s early requests (after he arrived from HP) for details on all layers of its global talent base. She described metrics they use to compete for cloud technology talent with most of Silicon Valley, and those for college recruiting that Mark is emphasizing.
I have heard Judith Sim, CMO describe the sophistication of Oracle’s lead gen engine and digital pipeline analytics. That visibility is also allowing Oracle to automate and optimize provisioning in the cloud. Indeed, Thomas Kurian, President presented a slide which shows the provisioning and development advantage Oracle claims in IaaS.
In a customer panel, couple of executives agreed with Thomas and talked about the automation edge that provides. Of course, they also want Oracle to compete with Amazon’s base compute, storage and network economics.
So, the pressure is on Oracle’s public cloud infrastructure. Mostly under NDA, Campbell Webb described its 19 data centers and the partners who support the fabric.
Talking of partners, I got a tweet after the summit
It is a valid question, though. I hope Oracle continues to be demanding of its partners and itself about operational excellence as its cloud footprint continues to grow.