This week I attended an Oracle event put together for industry analysts. I have attended these kinds of events off and on over the years and they are very useful. This Oracle event was focused on its Cloud strategy, but it was not part of the public Oracle CloudWorld event also held in NYC. This was a useful event to get a high level overview of the broad highlights of the vendors’ cloud strategy.

In a nutshell Oracle has assembled a number of key elements that comprise a “stack”. The components of this stack look like this:

  • Software as a Service – SaaS The business applications that firms use to run their business)
  • Platform as a Service – PaaS The services used to help create new application – supplements apps in SaaS with unique “add-ons” that will extend or add new functionality
  • Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS The services used to create, sustain and modernize the infrastructure that supports the consumers of data such as apps, devices, etc., sources of data, and connections between the two)
  • Data as a Service – DaaS The data and services that will drive advanced analytics that will inform decision making across the business to drive improved outcome and business process integrity.

This was my first update on Oracle’s cloud strategy for quite a while and it certainly looks comprehensive. It is interesting how simple it looks too. Oracle certainly has a big footprint – perhaps that is an understatement. And though my historical focus in the Oracle universe has historically been focused on the end-user apps, and more recently the governance of the data used in a business, the “stack” assembled seems to do a nice job of putting all the parts together.
As an analyst today I focus on data and analytics, and how data drives process integrity and analytics drive better decision making. As such, the data and apps in Oracle’s DaaS offering looks intriguing. You can actually look at the data is a key asset on its own (one which large vendors are uniquely positioned to secure), separate from the consumption of that data via the Adaptive Intelligent Apps.

These apps made me think of “packaged data scientists” – which grossly over simplifies what they are but maybe you get the idea. All very interesting, not least due to the hype in the market today related to machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics.

Clearly the vendor seeks to differentiate each layer of this “cake” with various innovations and messages such that it can sell any part of its offerings one at a time or in any combination. Though each of these might be interesting in their own right, I was more excited by what might emerge from the collection of the entire set.

It will be most interesting to see how this stack is accepted in the market, and how it will interoperate and coexists with other non-Oracle apps, services and data.

(Andrew White is research vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner Group. This post originally appeared on his Gartner blog, which can be viewed here)

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