Oracle has made bolstering its software as a service offerings a priority in its move to the cloud, even as the vendor has moved to build substantial components of the underlying infrastructure, including database as a service, to support Oracle SaaS.
At the recent OpenWorld user conference in San Francisco, Oracle SaaS announcements were given prominent play as CTO Larry Ellison unveiled Oracle Manufacturing Cloud and Planning Central Cloud -- two major new modules in the Oracle SaaS suite for supply chain management -- along with a new e-commerce component for Oracle CX cloud. But Ellison also used his opening-night keynote to tout the completeness of Oracle's multi-tier cloud stack, which he said enables the company to deliver computing the way a utility delivers energy.
Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at San Francisco-based Constellation Research, commented on the Oracle SaaS and cloud infrastructure developments in a video interview at the conference.
"Oracle's been on a long-term journey to build exactly that large integrated stack -- become the IBM of the 21st century," Mueller said. "Interestingly enough, Larry ignores that there's one other vendor there -- Microsoft -- who's a similar animal, doing the same thing, solving everything from chip to click, from the bottom to the user experience."
Asked if any cloud components were still missing, Mueller said, "Every year, Oracle declares victory and says everything is there, but then there is something new coming. The big things on the applications side and the SaaS side this year have been manufacturing and the new e-commerce capabilities. There's always something to add."
In his keynote, Ellison said the new Oracle SaaS products are "100% Fusion," referring to the vendor's Web-friendly Fusion applications and middleware that have been in development for at least a decade. Mueller said Fusion has been through various re-brandings and that Oracle's cloud push came after the first Fusion applications were built.
He advised users to closely examine the integrated cloud stack and Oracle SaaS. "You get much, much more than just an application," he said. "You get a platform as a service, you get an infrastructure as a service, you get a cloud infrastructure, and that has certain qualities and feels to it."
Having all the pieces of cloud infrastructure helps the integration of Oracle SaaS but also creates dependencies. "It should have benefits, but has tie-in, and customers have to weigh the pros and cons," Mueller concluded.