Salesforce.com CEO: Oracle's 'Proprietary' Systems Miss Cloud Computing Mark


Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff Wednesday attacked Oracle for what he called its "proprietary mainframes" and "closed systems" that ignore the cloud computing and social network revolutions that are reshaping the technology landscape.

Benioff's comments came after he accused Oracle of canceling his keynote session at 10:30 a.m. PST at the Novellus Theatre at the massive Oracle OpenWorld conference because his cloud message was not in line with what he called Oracle's proprietary and closed systems theme.

"I am sorry we are not at the Novellus Theatre," Benioff said in a speech that had been moved to a restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel, a few blocks away from Oracle OpenWorld. "You can see this is a different message than Oracle OpenWorld. It is not a message of proprietary mainframes. This is not a message of closed systems. This is a message of open systems, of a cloud-based world that is social, that is mobile."

Oracle, for its part, which has heavily promoted its tightly integrated hardware software systems at Oracle OpenWorld this week, said in a statement that Benioff's session was moved to Thursday at 8 a.m. PST, "due to the overwhelming attendance at Oracle OpenWorld" that prompted "several session changes." Oracle OpenWorld has attracted some 45,000 attendees to San Francisco this week.

Benioff said Salesforce.com was contacted about the cancellation of his session at 3:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, which sent his team scrambling to organize a new venue at the St. Regis. Salesforce.com used Facebook and Twitter to inform customers and OpenWorld attendees of the change in time and place.

"Now Oracle is saying that we can go on tomorrow at 8 a.m. when the show is over," said Benioff. "I want to thank Oracle for that. They also offered an 8 a.m. slot on Sunday at their new Alcatraz Americas Cup facility." The reference to the Americas Cup facility was a swipe at Oracle CEO Larry Ellison who is a member of the Americas Cup sailing team.

Benioff charged that Oracle is ignoring the social media and cloud computing revolutions even as CIOs in business are embracing the technology.

"This is a social revolution and it is not just about the consumer," he said. "It is about enterprise. You look at CIOs embracing this saying: 'We want this change! We want this transformation!' But is that what we are hearing at this conference? Are we hearing that the future of our industry is social? That the future of our industry is social? That the future of our industry is cloud?"

Next: Salesforce.com CEO Claims Cloud Is A Contrarian View In The Oracle Universe