Kicking the year off, Information.com ran a story which said
“But Mr. Ellison’s comments about Amazon and Salesforce don’t tell the whole story. In reality, both companies are actively working to replace Oracle software running on critical business systems with open-source database software alternatives, and have made significant progress toward getting off Oracle entirely, according to people familiar with the matter.”
Several analysts used the Salesforce Analyst Summit last week to probe into this. Parker Harris of Salesforce said “We have a great relationship with Oracle. Of course we build our own extensions and if you look at our portfolio of built and acquired products we use several other databases”. Ariel Kelman of Amazon Web Services was more competitive "I haven’t met a customer that doesn’t want to move off of Oracle" and “customers have used our DB migration services 45K times“ but he did not touch on how many have moved from Oracle or Amazon’s own internal moves to get off Oracle. SAP was not at the conference but they have also announced plans to move many of their cloud products and ECC customers to HANA and many of their other acquired databases. It is a long work in progress for them as well.
I tend to discount vendor positive references or negative talk about technologies. These are just too many conflicts of interest to untangle.
When I talk to corporate buyers, I get a similar vibe of “little love” for Oracle. They constantly evaluate open-source, NoSQL, HANA and other options. But the talent, systems management tools and other “bag of tricks” they have invested in to tune the database, recover from downtime etc. keep them grounded. Having said that Oracle sometimes misreads continued commitment to the database as customer loyalty.
Most customers grudgingly look at other Oracle products, and if Oracle thinks customers will line up in droves for its IaaS to take advantage of autonomy features announced in future releases of the database, I think it could be miscalculating. It would do far better to also offer such enhancements for the on-prem database (without, of course the SLA that comes with the cloud infrastructure). And that business, for the near future continues to looks solid.