Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison
Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison

Oracle Takes on Google and SAP in Hot New Cloud Category

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Going head-on against Google Cloud and SAP, Oracle plans to roll out a broad set of industry-specific cloud solutions starting with communications, pharmaceuticals and financial services.

(On my weekly Cloud Wars Top 10 rankings, Google Cloud is #4, SAP is #5, and Oracle is #6.)

Oracle chairman Larry Ellison framed the move into specialized vertical-industry cloud applications as the final stage in a 4-phase evolution that began 20 years ago with the first broad SaaS apps from NetSuite and Salesforce.

The second phase, Ellison said, was the rollout of related products, followed by stage 3 where full suites of richly integrated applications could handle a wide range of business processes across large organizations.

And now we’re in the fourth phase, he said, as those suites become “verticalized” for different industries.

“We have a lot of [on-premises] industry-specific products and a lot of industry-specific knowledge,” Ellison said during the company’s recent CX event.

“Our industry applications are very unusual—nobody else has this kind of industry-specific applications to go with their horizontal applications.”

Well, that’s not quite true—SAP has an equally broad set of on-prem industry-specific solutions it is driving into the cloud with its new Industry Cloud. In July, SAP Christian Klein vowed that his company would invest heavily in vertically specialized applications because customers need them and because it represents a huge opportunity for SAP. You can read more on that in SAP’s Secret Weapon: Month-Old Industry Cloud Already ‘Growth Driver’.

And industry-specific solutions first jumped into the spotlight this year when Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said it was the “#1 priority” for his company, a new strategy that I analyzed in some depth in Google Launches New Era in Cloud with AI-Powered Industry Solutions.

The entry of Oracle into this high-potential new market will definitely accelerate the pace of innovation and product launches for every company in the market, which also includes Microsoft and to a limited extent Amazon’s AWS.

We’ve been watching this development closely throughout 2020 and you can check out some of the major developments in these analyses:

Disclosure: at the time of this writing, Oracle, Google Cloud and SAP were among the many clients of Cloud Wars Media LLC and/or Evans Strategic Communications LLC.


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