Moving to the cloud may no longer be a choice, but a competitive necessity.
"[A] business of any size has to recognize the game has changed," said Reggie Bradford, an Oracle senior vice president of product development, who is responsible for advocating for Oracle cloud products. "Customer experience is no longer defined by your competitor, but the needs of technology-starved consumers. So, for example, Airbnb is now defining the customer experience for the entire lodging industry."
Bradford discussed how Oracle cloud products impact business strategy in a video recorded at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. "This category is the most important part of Oracle as a company," he said.
Bradford has a background as a "three-peat" cloud entrepreneur. He was founder and CEO of Vitrue, a cloud social marketing and engagement vendor Oracle acquired in 2012, and before that, held executive positions at two startups, the video compression software vendor N2 Broadband and the medical website WebMD.
Real-time marketing, increased globalization and ubiquitous smartphones have transformed how business is conducted, according to Bradford. "The world is connected through social and, now, messaging platforms. You've got to jump in, and the pivot to cloud is really, I think, the only way for small, midsize or even large companies to be able to compete at the [accelerated business] cycles, and to be able to accelerate the development and be able to move fast."
"Cloud is going to be where you're going to find the most agility, speed, and capability and performance," Bradford said.
Oracle cloud products filled in
As in recent years, the annual OpenWorld conference saw the release of Oracle cloud products that fill in the vendor's as a service "stack" for infrastructure, development and applications. Leading the pack was a second-generation infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering that Oracle claimed will provide better performance and scalability than IaaS pacesetter Amazon Web Services.
Bradford also quickly touched on the evolution of Oracle cloud products through software as a service and platform as a service. He noted that while growth in the cloud categories is accelerating for the vendor, the market is still in its early stages. "We're in the second inning of a nine-inning game," he said.