Collaborations with VMware, Microsoft, Deloitte announced at OpenWorld
The cloud has been the central focus of this week’s Oracle OpenWorld user conference, and partnerships continued to be a key part of the enterprise software giant’s strategy for bolstering its Oracle Cloud efforts.
The Lowdown: The company announced a technology and support partnership with VMware, which itself has grown beyond its data center virtualization roots to become a player in the expanding cloud market. In addition, Oracle announced an expansion of its cloud interoperability alliance with Microsoft, as well as partnerships with IT consultancy Deloitte and cloud storage vendor Box.
The Details: Oracle is turning to partnerships as an important part of its efforts to become a major cloud player that can compete with the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. The key partnership announcements at OpenWorld include:
> VMware: Through the partnership, joint customers will be able to create hybrid cloud environments that allow them to run VMware Cloud Foundation on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. VMware vSphere users will be able to migrate their workloads to Oracle’s second-generation infrastructure. In addition, Oracle will provide technical support for Oracle software running in VMware environments, both in on-premises data centers and on Oracle-certified clouds. Oracle will be part of the VMware Cloud Provider Program, and the Oracle Cloud VMware solution will be available via both Oracle and its channel partners.
> Microsoft: The two companies are integrating Oracle Digital Assistant and Microsoft Teams, the software vendor’s unified communications solution. Enterprises can use Teams’ artificial intelligence (AI)-powered capabilities to access Oracle Cloud applications. In addition, when Oracle Digital Assistant becomes available in the Teams App Store, users will be able to use a bot conversation to query Oracle Cloud applications, such as CX and HCM. The move builds on the cloud-interoperability alliance that Microsoft and Oracle announced in June that allows Azure and Oracle Cloud customers to migrate and run workloads across both environments.
> Deloitte: The two companies unveiled a sales and delivery program called Elevate designed to help them more easily migrate and manage workloads with Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The collaboration combines Oracle’s technology – such as SOAR, Destination Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – with Deloitte’s expertise in such areas as cybersecurity and business insights to help customers design and deploy cloud strategies.
> Box: The partnership will enable customers to connect their cloud and on-premises applications from Oracle and third parties with Box through Oracle Integration application integration software. The aim is to allow enterprises to leverage their content in the cloud to enhance collaboration and workflows.
The Impact: The partnership with VMware is particularly important for Oracle and its channel partners. VMware has a significant presence in enterprise data centers, which makes it a valuable partner for public cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft – and now Oracle – that need to create larger hybrid cloud environments. It’s also another indication that Oracle understands partnerships with such top-tier players will be crucial for it to become a larger cloud player.
Background: How big a cloud player Oracle can become is still unclear. The software vendor continues to aggressively re-align its business for the cloud – shedding workers in other parts of the company, for example, to bolster its cloud efforts. But there are major obstacles. According to Synergy Research Group, AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud own almost 60% of the cloud market, and Chinese companies Alibaba and Tencent are growing quickly. The market research firm put Oracle – along with IBM, Salesforce, and Rackspace – in a list of “niche” players.
CEO Mark Hurd, who leads Oracle’s cloud efforts, having to take a leave of absence from the company for health reasons doesn’t help either.
The Buzz: “As more of our customers make the move to cloud, they’re looking for a superior VMware experience. We’re excited that Oracle Cloud customers will be able to run VMware workloads in Oracle Cloud and retain VMware administrative access,” said Don Johnson, executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “This is made possible by Layer 2 networking in the cloud and our bare metal service. Customers will be able to extend existing VMware investments, processes, and tools while benefitting from the security and performance of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.”
“VMware is delighted that for the first time, Oracle will officially offer technical support for Oracle products running on VMware. This is a win-win for customers,” said Sanjay Poonen, COO of customer operations at VMware. “We’re also happy to welcome Oracle to the VMware Cloud Provider Program, which will allow them to migrate and manage workloads running on VMware Cloud Foundation in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.”
“Oracle and VMware are technology providers that we depend on to run our organization successfully. As a longtime customer of both companies, we’re pleased that this partnership demonstrates – with decisive clarity – that Oracle products are indeed supported,” said Dan Young, chief data architect and manager of enterprise database administration at Indiana University. “This gives us even greater confidence that we have strategic partners that are working together in our best interest to help ensure that, in the event something goes wrong, we’re fully supported and will face minimal disruption in our operations.”
“We run multiple versions of VMware on premise. Oracle will give us the same ability in the cloud, allowing us to meet our corporate IT policies,” said Munish Mittal, CIO and group head of IT at HDFC Bank. “This is the level of control necessary to move our mission-critical workloads to the cloud.”