Oracle's Ellison, Salesforce's Benioff Promote Their Alliance (Gasp!) Together


The two executives didn't rule out the possibility of expanding their alliance at some point.

"Sure, Oracle and Salesforce have some overlapping products," Ellison said. "But I think there are more opportunities to work together." Without providing details, Ellison said the two companies, for example, could collaborate more deeply on Oracle's Java technology to make sure it works well with Salesforce's Force.com cloud platform.

"I think the opportunities are really endless," Benioff agreed.

"Customers expect us to work together professionally toward the benefit of those customers," Ellison said, citing customer demand for better security and system availability through improved integration. At one point he estimated that tighter integration between the two vendors' software could cut implementation and integration costs by up to 50 percent.

Ellison said the Oracle-Salesforce alliance would not affect Oracle's relationship with cloud service provider Amazon, which also uses Oracle's technology. "We would like to see the Oracle database running everywhere in the cloud," he said, in what could be a neat summary of the alliances Oracle announced this week with Salesforce, Microsoft and NetSuite.

At one point the executives were asked by a reporter whether the alliance meant an end to the "fun, entertaining potshots" the two have become known for.

"I certainly hope it's not the end of the fun," Benioff said, noting that he has known Ellison for 27 years since he went to work at Oracle in 1986. But, in one of the few acknowledgements that the rhetoric has at times become heated, he added: "Hopefully it will be the end of us getting a little too revved up sometimes, which occasionally has happened."

"I'm sure both Marc and I will continue to be entertaining," Ellison said, "while making sure that the entertainment never distracts from our commitment to working together."

Toward the end of the call Benioff invited Ellison to Salesforce's Dreamforce conference, scheduled for November. And, Ellison accepted.

Wrapping up, Ellison mentioned that he would be addressing the topic of "the Internet of things" in his keynote at Oracle OpenWorld in September.

But, he didn't invite Marc.

PUBLISHED JUNE 27, 2013