We were shocked to learn Thomas Kurian is leaving Oracle. Thomas Kurian has been the main product development guy at Oracle for 22 years. He climbed the ranks from an individual contributor on the product development team to RUNNING the product development team consisting of 35,000 employees. He has been Larry’s right-hand man when it comes to Oracle’s technology strategy. In fact, when Larry decided it was more important to be at the America’s Cup in 2013 instead of delivering one of the Keynotes at Oracle OpenWorld it was Thomas he sent as a last minute substitution. With Thomas leaving this important post, at a time when Oracle is trying to compete in the new “cloud world” what does this mean for Oracle?
From news articles, it seems the main dispute that triggered this split is that Thomas wanted Oracle to offer more of its products on competing cloud platforms, such as AWS, Azure, etc. But, Larry disagreed.
It is common knowledge that Oracle was late to the game when it comes to cloud technology. They have been trying to catch up from behind, which is hard to do when you are competing against behemoth companies, like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. You can neither buy them nor invest enough to catch up.
By creating challenges and increasing prices for customers to move their Oracle footprint to the cloud, we have seen clients firsthand move mountains to move off of the Oracle platform completely. This leaves Oracle with nothing as they lose their most valuable revenue stream: support maintenance. With some of Amazon’s new offerings, RDS – Relational Database Service for example, it makes it very easy to spin up a new database or a new server with minimal effort. Thus, making the move off of Oracle, especially for new systems, much easier than it used to be pre-cloud!
It is clear, cloud is the future. Heck, even the Federal Government has gotten there and we know how slow they move! If Oracle doesn’t make it easy for clients to use the software that Oracle is great at (e.g. database) wherever they want, customers WILL move off of Oracle all together. Perhaps they will get a more inferior database, but it may be good enough to get the job done, and they are able to use whichever cloud vendor they prefer. Oracle’s cloud has a long way to go to acquire enough customers on their platform to make it a viable option, and it is questionable if they will ever really get there.
We know Larry isn’t asking Olitech’s opinion in this matter, but just in case you were curious....we side with Thomas.
By Melissa Cortale
Melissa Cortale is founder and President of Olitech Solutions, LLC. Melissa has worked with Oracle licensing, both for Oracle and on the client side, for over 10 years where she has negotiated more than 300 transactions. Melissa has shared her Oracle expertise at multiple SAM conferences and has has taught IBSMA’s Practitioner’s Certificate in Oracle License Management (PCOLM) course across the US and abroad.