Thursday, September 29, 2011

Marc is missing the point on Oracle

Just noticed Marc Andreessen's comments on Oracle - "The clock is ticking", his point being none of his start-ups use Oracle software. He says that Oracle and other old-line software and infrastructure companies haven't leaped forward to the cloud.

I would agree with Marc if his comments are for Oracle, the database software and not Oracle, company, but it seems his comments are for the company.

Marc is taking a product centric view, and misses the capability view. Infrastructure costs are going down with cloud and the life of the product with license/maintenance fee based model may be limited. The new licensing revenues for the traditional database product is not growing for Oracle for quite sometime and so it transformed itself from being a database company to a complete systems company, encompassing not just middleware and apps but also hardware.

With the control over the complete stack, Oracle has really been shoring up its capability. This is the point that Marc misses. Oracle's recently acquired capabilities will enable it to offer apps on cloud, or platform on cloud or even infrastructure on cloud when it wants. Oracle's recent strategy has been to acquire successful companies when the new business model is proven. Even when the cloud-based trend brings curtains on older business models, there would be new companies leveraging the new opportunities offered by cloud. Oracle can con continue its capability acquisition strategy and remain a leader.

Clock would be ticking for Oracle only if it shuts its eyes and ears. I do not think that is the case. Larry was an early investor in SalesForce.com !

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