Did Amazon Just Top Oracle’s Claim of Competitiveness in the Cloud?



Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud

In late September 2016, as expected, Oracle (ORCL) launched its 2nd generation of its IaaS (information-as-a-service) offering, Oracle Bare Metal Cloud. As usual, Oracle CEO (chief executive officer) Larry Ellison, known for a boastful attitude, continued to point out how Oracle’s offering is better than Amazon.com’s (AMZN) AWS. Ellison stated: “Our Generation2 IaaS delivers twice the compute, twice the memory, four times the storage and ten times more I/O at a 20% lower price than Amazon Web Services.”

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Amazon’s retaliation

Amazon, not being the one to keep quiet—especially with AWS’s double-digit revenue growth story and dominance in cloud space—retaliated with the announcement of its X-ray vision. Amazon’s AWS revenue rose 55% YoY (year-over-year) to ~$3.2 billion in fiscal 3Q16. X-Ray is a managed offering that enables a customer to scrutinize an application, layer by layer, down to the last piece.

At AWS’s Re-Invent 2016 conference, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy announced X-ray vision. According to Business Insider, Jassy elaborated on the X-ray vision, stating, “X-Ray vision is the unique ability to have visibility and vision,” and “the ability to see through the hand-waving and bombast.” For a few seconds, Larry Ellison’s image flashed on the screen, indicating the dig Amazon took on Oracle’s CEO.

Larry Ellison, in his own distinct vigorous manner, has always included Salesforce (CRM) and Workday (WDAY) in a similar manner, as it did with Amazon.

In its fiscal 1Q17 earnings release, Ellison stated: “Oracle has nearly 2,600 Fusion ERP customers in the Oracle Public Cloud—that’s ten times more cloud ERP customers than Workday.”

Indirectly bringing salesforce.com, which aims to record $10 billion revenue by 2018, into the discussion, Ellison added: “That gives us a fighting chance to be the first cloud company to reach $10 billion in SaaS and PaaS revenue.”


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