Tag: oracle

Amazon wrestles Oracle in handbags at dawn duel

cda0b487bcbf9c72a65ee8106e695603While you would not really expect Amazon and Oracle to see eye to eye, it appears that the two are having a very public hand-bags at dawn duel.

Two months ago Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd called Amazon’s cloud infrastructure “old” and claimed his company was gaining market share.

Now Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy slammed Oracle for locking customers into painfully long and expensive contracts.

“People are very sensitive about being locked in given the experience they’ve had the last 10 to 15 years,” Jassy told Amazon’s AWS Summit in San Francisco.

“When you look at cloud, it’s nothing like being locked into Oracle.” Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees.”

Jassy claims that the cloud is about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they’re not working.

Oracle investigating buying Accenture

oracleThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn which claims that data base maker Oracle wants to write a cheque for the government outsourcer Accenture.

The database giant has hired a team of consultants to conduct due diligence to “explore the synergies that could be created if they [Oracle] bought Accenture”.

Oracle’s money men and women are weighing up the pros and cons including the potential impact on Oracle’s wider channel.

While this sort of thing happens all the time, Oracle is rather serious about it even if it is a little bit daring. Accenture has a market cap of $77.5 billion, and shareholders will expect a premium offer so it is set to cost a bomb.

It would dwarf some of Oracle’s biggest deals so far which have included a $10 billion buy of PeopleSoft, a $7.4 billion deal for Sun Microsystems, and $9.3 billion for Netsuite.

Still it would give Oracle some rather huge government-based customers to hold by their ankles and shake until the money comes out.

Oracle dumps Solaris 12 for a cloudy future

oracle_sparc_solaris_roadmapIt would appear that Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump’s favourite database maker has dumped Solaris 12 from its roadmap as part of its cloud initiatives.

Oracle published a new roadmap and Solaris 12 is absent. A new blueprint dated January 13, 2017 expunges any mention Solaris 12 in the places where Oracle had included it in the 2014 edition. There is a mention of “Solaris 11.next” as due to debut during this year or the next complete with “Cloud Deployment & Integration Enhancements”.

You can’t find any mention of “Solaris 11.next” anywhere on the worldwide wibble.

Oracle does mention SPARC Next appearing this year in 2020 SPARC Next+. It also hints of plans to launch SPARC infrastructure-as-a-service, probably under the brand “@Customer” with services in “Dedicated Metered & Non-Metered” form.

It appears that there will not be a full new version of SPARC but the existing flavour will be enhanced and will be supported for many years to come.

While it is not the end of Solaris which some have predicted, it does seem to indicate that Oracle has not much will to push through a full version.

Oracle comes up with a way of getting Java off every machine

JavascriptDatabase maker Oracle has worked out a way of getting its Java code off every machine in the world – it is starting to sue those who use it without permission.

Six years after it wrote a cheque for Sun, Oracle is ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences.

Oracle has been hitting up customers and partners claiming they are out of compliance on Java. This has taken some time but now its License Management Services (LMS) division is being more active in chasing down people for payment.

The database giant is understood to have hired 20 individuals globally this year, whose sole job is the pursuit of businesses in breach of their Java licences.

This is causing a boom in the industry compliance industry with specialists are themselves ramping up, hiring Java experts and expanding in anticipation of increased action next year.

At the heart of the issue is Java SE which comes in three paid flavours costing $40- $300 per user and $5,000 – $15,000 per processor.

Experts telling people to avoid downloading Java SE and those who have should review its use before Oracle pounds on their door.

We have been told that Oracle is also targeting its partners, even though they are the ones helping Oracle carry out the legal moves.

The issue is that people seem to believe that Java is free software because that was the case under Sun. Sun charged a licensee fee to companies like IBM and makers of Blu-ray players, but generally Sun used Java to help sales of its systems.

Oracle changed all that with Java SE includes Java SE Advanced Desktop, introduced by Oracle in February 2014, and Java SE Advanced and Java SE Suite, introduced by Oracle in May 2011.

Java SE is free but Java SE Advanced Desktop, Advanced and Suite are not. Java SE Suite, for example, costs $300 per named user with a support bill of $66; there’s a per-processor option of $15,000 with a $3,300 support bill.

Java SE is not free for what Oracle’s licence defines as “specialized embedded computers used in intelligent systems.” This includes mobile phones, hand-held devices, networking switches and Blu-Ray players.
Another issue is that when you download Java SE you can end up installing things you don’t need but have to pay for.
If anything Oracles actions are going to really hack off users next year and there will be a general backlash against Java in 2017.

Oracle is still the “big bad wolf” of software audits

dore_ridinghoodThe Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) has lashed out at the “anti-competitive” tactics of software vendors and said that Oracle is the “big bad wolf” of software auditors.

CCL found licensing audits were taking an average of nearly 200 work-hours to resolve and Oracle was the worst offender.”

The research asked respondents to estimate how long an average software audit takes to resolve in work hours and total duration. The average estimate was 194.15 working hours over a duration of 7.13 months.

CCL feels that big vendors are using audits to block competition and restrict innovation. While customers are locked in a room talking with the big vendors about audits, they are not looking at alternatives.

The 194 hour figure has gone up over the last five years because software licensing, and therefore the audit process, has become more complex, CCL said.

Oracle was named and shamed by nearly a quarter as the least helpful vendor in terms of audits. IBM and Microfocus were second and third, ahead of Microsoft, Autodesk, SAP, Adobe, Dell Software and HP.

Although Microsoft was seen in CCL’s survey as the most helpful vendor in terms of audits it did catch a bit of criticism. CCL did not like how previous compliance misdemeanours might be overlooked as long as the customer adopts the software publisher’s strategic products.

“…While less aggressive, this approach is still anti-competitive and it assumes the vendor’s cloud solution is the most viable option.”

Oracle makes a noise about Dyn

featuredimage_post32Oracle has written a cheque for the troubled DNS provider Dyn which was hit by a distributed denial of service attack in October that crippled some of the world’s biggest and most popular websites.

Oracle wants to add Dyn’s DNS solution to its bigger cloud computing platform, which already sells/provides a variety of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products and competes against companies like Amazon’s AWS.

The deal is expected to be worth about $600 million, but no one is going on record to say that. It is also unclear if the deal was being negotiated before the Mirai botnet took down a series of sites in October.

Dyn powers some 3,500 customers’ sites.  In its statement, Oracle said the outfit “drives 40 billion traffic optimization decisions daily for more than 3,500 enterprise customers”. Customers include Netflix, Twitter, Pfizer and CNBC among many others.

Oracle president Thomas Kurian said that Oracle already offers enterprise-class IaaS and PaaS for companies building and running Internet applications and cloud services.

“Dyn’s immensely scalable and global DNS is a critical core component and a natural extension to our cloud computing platform.”

In a letter from Kurian to customers and partners, Oracle fails to even mention of Dyn’s DDoS attack. Instead he talks about how Dyn’s platform “monitors, controls, and optimizes Internet applications and cloud services to deliver faster access, reduced page load times, and higher end-user satisfaction.”

The pair will continue to operate independently until the transaction closes.

Dyn is Oracle’s 114th acquisition. Other recent acquisitions to fill out its enterprise cloud services, include the security startup, Palerra which might be useful to solve Dyn’s woes.

 

Cloudy Netsuite delivers final results  

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudSome Netsuite shareholders might be relieved that the outfit could be bought by Oracle – the outfit’s last financial results were not that great.

The Cloud-based ERP outfit announced its last quarter results before it joins Ellison’s team and while it has continued to grow it is also showing increased operating overheads and losses. In other-words if it had not been bought out it could be in for some serious restructuring if it is going to continue.

NetSuite reported a third quarter loss of $34.1 million compared to $37.7 million a year earlier, on revenue of $243.9, up 26 percent. Costs increased to $50.2 million compared to $44.3 million.

The $9.3 million buyout needs to be approved by shareholders on 4 November. Surprisingly, shareholders don’t like it and the meeting could be contentious.  The feeling is that Ellison and the Netsuite board have  undervalued the company. We would have thought that they only have to look at the numbers to see that it is probably a good idea.

The Netsuite board seems to think the shareholders will go for it. They have said that this is the last time that the company would be making the figures public.  After all it is going to be part of Ellison’s empire if the vote goes ahead.

Oracle hacked by Russian mobsters

Oracle-Announces-X5Russian organised cybercrime has broken into Oracle’s point-of-sale credit card payment systems.

According to KrebsOnSecurity the attackers have compromised a customer support portal for companies using Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale credit card payment systems.

Oracle acknowledged that it had “detected and addressed malicious code in certain legacy MICROS systems.” It also said that it is asking all MICROS customers to reset their passwords for the MICROS online support portal.

MICROS is among the top three point-of-sale vendors globally. Oracle’s MICROS division sells point-of-sale systems used at more than 330,000 cash registers worldwide. When Oracle bought MICROS in 2014, the company said MICROS’s systems were deployed at some 200,000+ food and beverage outlets, 100,000+ retail sites, and more than 30,000 hotels.

The size and scope of the break-in is still being investigated, and it remains unclear when the attackers first gained access to Oracle’s systems. Oracle first considered the breach to be limited to a small number of computers and servers at the company’s retail division. However it started to look a lot worse as the investigation developed.

KrebsOnSecurity said an Oracle MICROS customer reported hearing about a potentially large breach at Oracle’s retail division.

Oracle’s MICROS customer support portal apparently had a chat to a server used by the Carbanak Gang. Carbanak is part of a Russian cybercrime syndicate that is suspected of stealing more than $1 billion from banks, retailers and hospitality firms over the past several years.

Oracle swallows first cloud company – NetSuite

violet-beauregarde-willy-wonka-1971Oracle has written a cheque for the world’s first first cloud company – the transaction for NetsSuite is valued at $9.3 billion.

Oracle’s CEO, soft-porn star fan and expenses wizard  Mark Hurd said that Oracle and NetSuite cloud applications were complementary, and will “coexist in the marketplace forever.

“We intend to invest heavily in both products – engineering and distribution. We expect this acquisition to be immediately accretive to Oracle’s earnings on a non-GAAP basis in the first full fiscal year after closing.”

Oracle’s other CEO Safra “Kool4″ Catz said that NetSuite has been working for 18 years to develop a single system for running a business in the cloud.”

Evan Goldberg, Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Chairman, NetSuite, said:  “This combination is a winner for NetSuite’s customers, employees and partners. NetSuite will benefit from Oracle’s global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of our cloud solutions in more industries and more countries.”

The transaction is expected to close in 2016. The closing of the transaction is subject to receiving certain regulatory approvals and satisfying other closing conditions including NetSuite stockholders tendering a majority of NetSuite’s outstanding shares in the tender offer.

 

Oracle culls channel execs in cloud push

Oracle-Announces-X5Oracle has laid off several channel and sales executives as well as its entire channel pre-sales technical support team. It is part of a cunning plan to push its cloud licensing direct sales.

So far the cuts have been in North America where 225 and 300 staff have been told that they will have to leave the building by the end of the month. Some of those let go were vice president-level sales managers who’d been focused on selling hardware and on-premise software at Oracle.

Gone are Gary Koopman, group vice president of alliances and channels in Oracle’s North America sales group and Christine Aumann who was director of sales consulting for Oracle’s North American hardware alliances.  Steve Vakulskas, group vice president of North America technology sales has gone alone with Anthony Cioletti, who was a senior sales consulting manger and Dennis Schurmeier who looked after Oracle’s public sector business.

The figure includes sales engineers and sales consultants who worked closely with channel partners. Also gone is the entire channel pre-sales technical support team who go into the customer with the partners and determine how the solutions should be engineered and fit together.

Without them the channel is going to have a hell of a time getting deals closed.

This all comes down to Oracle CTO Larry Ellison’s war with Salesforce.com to become the first SaaS vendor to reach $10 billion in annual sales.

 

Ellison believes SaaS market is a key to the cloud

Larry EllisonAlthough he is not backward about coming forward at the best of times, Oracle Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison has been talking up his outfit’s Cloud business lately, claiming it is doing rather well because if its SaaS presence.

Ellison claims Oracle’s cloud business is “defying conventional wisdom” by accelerating while it expands and this is because of its presence in the SaaS market where rivals are not competing.

“We think we have a fighting chance to be the first SaaS company to make it to $10 billion in annual revenue,” Ellison said.

Oracle is a number two SaaS vendor and had a total SaaS and PaaS revenue of $2.2 billion during fiscal 2016, up 49 percent from the year before. The top SaaS vendor, Salesforce made $6.67 billion in 2016 and expects its 2017 revenue to be $8.08 billion.

Public cloud IaaS leader Amazon Web Services said in April that it’s on track to hit $10 billion in revenue this year.

The cloud accounted for around eight percent of Oracle’s quarterly revenue, but this business to continue growing even faster in Oracle’s fiscal 2017.

Ellison also said Oracle is seeing “a huge amount of demand” for IaaS from its existing SaaS and database customers, which wish to avoid the data migration costs associated with AWS and other cloud vendors.

Oracle has made significant data centre efficiency advancements and can now offer lower costs, better security and superior reliability than any other provider in the market, he added.

 

Oracle’s whistleblower suit opens a can of worms

5707c0e99b6aa.imageThe “whistleblower” who claimed she was told to fudge cloud Oracle’s cloud accounts has done something that Larry Ellison’s PR team should have expected  – it has put a focus on the database maker’s cloud accounting policies.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in US District Court in San Francisco by former Oracle senior finance manager Svetlana Blackburn, also revives longstanding questions about proper accounting when software and computer services are bought on a subscription basis rather than as a single package.

Blackburn said she was required by Oracle management to “fit square data into round holes” to make Oracle’s cloud services’ results look better. She alleges that her bosses instructed her to add millions of dollars of accruals for expected business “with no concrete or foreseeable billing to support the numbers.”

Oracle is reassuring everyone that its numbers are correct, but the fact Blackburn claims she was fired by Oracle for complaining means that the allegations are not going away. Oracle is compounding the problem by threatening to sue Blackburn and claiming she was fired for poor performance.

Blackburn does not use the word “fraud” in her lawsuit, but it might be confusing for a lay person to spot the difference. It is clear Oracle’s sales force has been offered big incentives to book cloud deals. Cloud software is growing fast while traditional software sales slow, companies have an incentive to play up their ability to operate in the cloud.

By not handling Blackburn correctly and even escalating the situation, Oracle’s image is suffering and its shares fell almost  four percent the day after the lawsuit was made public.

It is highlighting a problem that software companies have in booking software sales as cloud or traditional.

The most nebulous part of cloud accounting concerns situations where the customer buys a product that can be used partly in the cloud, and partly on its own hardware.

US accounting rules state that in cases when use is mixed, companies should allocate the revenue between traditional, or licensed software; and cloud, or hosted software.

US Securities and Exchange Commission has investigated IBM over how it reports its cloud-computing revenue although this went no-where. Salesforce was also investigated which ultimately led to the company restating its 2002 and 2003 results, contributed to a delay in Salesforce’s 2004 initial public offering.

But it can get messier. In 2006, software maker Computer Associates had to restate past financial results after an internal audit found issues concerning stock options and how the company booked some subscription revenue. Its former chief executive, Sanjay Kumar, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2006 and was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

This was clearly something that Oracle does not want, but for some reason its legal team and PR Team did not think about this particular fall out. We predict that things are going to get a lot worse for Oracle, even if it ultimately wins.

Oracle sues whistle-blower for suing

oracleOracle apparently has a way with people calling themselves whistle-blowers – it sues them.

Svetlana Blackburn complained in the US district court in San Francisco that she had been fired from the company for refusing to artificially inflate Oracle’s cloud division sales. She said that senior directors had been fudging its software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service figures.

Blackburn said she was a “senior finance manager” at Oracle and accused the database giant of serious financial wrongdoing.

Oracle said that Blackburn worked at Oracle for less than a year and did not work in the accounting group. It insists that she was terminated for poor performance. Oracle will be suing her for malicious prosecution.

But Oracle’s lawyers might not be the only ones investigating the lawsuit – the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is rather interested. If Blackburn has the evidence for her claims, Oracle is going to be in hot-water. If she doesn’t then Oracle is going to want blood.

Oracle’s shares took a battering when she went to court dropping four per cent and wiping about $6 billion off Oracle’s market cap. Oracle is fond of suing people for funny money.

Salesforce demands Demandware

Salesforce_Logo_2009Cloudy Salesforce has written a $2.8 billion cheque for Demandware whose software is used by businesses to run e-commerce websites.

The move is part of a cunning plan to open a new front as Salesforce wants to take more market share from traditional software providers such as Oracle and SAP who offer cloud-based e-commerce services.

The e-commerce market has been growing  as retailers expand their online presence, boosting demand for software that helps manage functions such as payment processing and inventory management.

Salesforce appears to have paid rather a lot for the company to see off any of the other outfits which were bidding for the company. Word on the street is that Adobe and Oracle were also snuffling around.

Demandware has not been doing that well. Its shares, which have fallen about 21 percent in the past year. Its customers include Lands’ End, L’Oreal (because it is worth it) and Marks and Sparks. It has  reported sales growth of more than 30 percent for the last 10 quarters.

While Salesforce has beaten up everyone in the CRM war, it still needs to stay in front.  To do that it needs lots of products which is something it lacks.

Global spending on digital commerce platforms is expected to grow over 14 percent annually to about $8.5 billion by 2020, Salesforce.

The deal, slated to close in Salesforce’s second quarter ending July, is expected to increase the company’s 2017 revenue by about $100 million-$120 million.

Salesforce had forecast fiscal 2017 revenue of $8.16 billion-$8.20 billion in May.

 

EU gives its cloud to BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos

Eu-flag-vector-material2The European Commission has announced BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos will get most of the contracts to supply its new cloud services.

Contracts were broken out into three “lots,” covering a private cloud setup, public cloud setup, and platform-as-a-service, for which it will pay $38.5 million.
The whole lot will be platformed by Telecom Italia which is a bit unfortunate. That outfit is under resourced and its mobile arm TIM just adopted the iChing hexagram for “standing still” as its logo.waiting

It is unusual that Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Amazon and none of the other big cloud outfits managed to get their paws on the EU’s clouds.

The Commission said that all the systems will be physically located within the European Union, the Commission noted, “to be compliant with EU data handling requirements” basically it means that the US will not be able to steal it.

According to the announcement, the contract will “enable the Commission to follow the ceaseless pace of today’s technological race.”

The EU hopes that use of cloud services will help it come up with future improvements to how it works, such as using “Big Data.”

The private cloud service will provide computing and storage facilities through a private network link connected to the EC’s data centres, and will be hosted by a single provider. The public cloud infrastructure will be run over the public internet. And the public platform-as-a-service will include both operating systems and database services run over the cloud.

The first cloud services should appear this year.