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Biztech Jul 8, 2013

Oracle And Microsoft Partnership: What It Means To CIOs

By Robin Chatterjee

“Keep your friends close, and enemies closer,” advised Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy. Well, Oracle and Microsoft are definitely taking Mario Puzo seriously. The recent news announcement that the two bigwigs will join forces and ‘help’ each other survive the fierce competition in the world of cloud computing proves just that.

The key highlights which came to light following the deal are as follows: Microsoft customers can run Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure and Oracle will allow license mobility on Azure. Microsoft will add infrastructure instances with Oracle's Java, database and WebLogic Server, Microsoft will support and offer fully licensed Java in Azure, and Oracle will offer Oracle Linux on preconfigured instances. A first-of-its-kind deal, this partnership can enable the customers get best of both worlds. Let’s take a look at how this new relationship will impact enterprises and their CIOs.

Advantage: CIOs

Speaking about how Indian companies can benefit from this partnership, R. Subramanian, Director-IT Advisory, KPMG, believes this will be good for the customers, , especially for all those existing Microsoft Azure customers as now they can run Oracle software stack without any further licensing fee. Supporting this notion, Subramanya C., Global CIO, Hinduja Group, says, “This is a great opportunity for all those Indian companies who are not ready to invest a lot in developing cloud platform but are still looking to use one. Those who are in consulting space, and are trying to leverage the SME market, will benefit a lot from this association as they do not need to have in-house expertise to manage the platform.”

Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, believes this partnership will enable customers achieve more out of their current cloud infrastructure. He explains, “Microsoft jumps over its shadow and brings in a formerly competitive technology stack as a partner. It will not only give Azure customers more deployment options, but also allow Microsoft to use the Oracle tech stack. We would not be surprised if Dynamics apps will run Oracle under the hood in the near future. Oracle is true to its technology partner DNA from early RDBMS days. And Oracle is good at supporting partners – which the track record of SAP running on Oracle proves.”

The Relationship Sweetens The Deal For Enterprises

So, does this deal mean Microsoft can gain a competitive edge over Amazon in the customer mindscape? According to Milind Borate, Co-founder and CTO, Druva Technologies, for an existing Amazon cloud customer, this development will surely make Microsoft Azure platform more lucrative and those companies who are willing to shift their operations on cloud will now see more options with Microsoft.

Since majority of Azure customers in India are companies that work with very stringent IT budgets, this partnership will enable them to run Java, Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and even Oracle Linux on Windows Server Hyper-V or Windows Azure, and Oracle will deliver full certification and support. On the other hand, all the business process management companies in India will also see a lot more market opportunity because of these two software giants coming together.

Looking at this from Oracle’s perspective, we expect better visibility for them among enterprises. Constellation Research believes that it is the cost overhead and legacy database technology issues with Oracle that has limited its reach among enterprise customers, especially in cloud domain. It is also pretty much evident that by associating itself with the likes of Amazon, Dell, Microsoft, and NetSuite, Oracle will come across more prominently in the customers’ line of sight when it comes to making cloud decisions, albeit a tad bit late to join the party.

Market Impact

Talking about the implications that this deal will have on the global market, R. ‘Ray’ Wang, Principal Analyst and CEO, Constellation Research in one of his posts said, “For the overall cloud market, this forms a positive development as amongst the dedicated cloud stack vendors – AWS, Google, Microsoft and Oracle – this creates a kind of association that previously has not been thought to be possible.”

This new relationship between two of the most influential software companies is poised to be a win-win for all.- it is a known fact that many Microsoft customers rely on Oracle software, and many Oracle customers rely on the Windows operating system. Coming together might have been the need of the hour but this will ensure everything works smoothly in the cloud for customers all over the world and India being no exception. Agreeing with this, Jaideep Mehta, Vice President and Country General Manager – IDC says, “Both the leading vendors coming together is indeed a good development from the overall market perspective. From the customer point of view, this will help them ease a lot of deployment issues apart from effectively boosting the entire market scenario for both the vendors.”

As Puzo would have put it, an offer they couldn’t refuse.

by Robin Chatterjee

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