Nine-Year Pact: Salesforce.com, Oracle Team Up On The Cloud


Salesforce.com will standardize on Oracle's database software, Linux operating system, Java middleware and Exadata Database Machine servers under a nine-year agreement unveiled by the two companies Tuesday.

The two software giants also will integrate Salesforce.com's CRM and other cloud applications with Oracle's Fusion HCM (human capital management) and Financial Cloud Software-as-a-Service applications, and Salesforce.com will adopt those Oracle applications to run its own business.

The news comes one day after Oracle and Microsoft unveiled a sweeping alliance under which Oracle will support Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform and Hyper-V virtualization technology.

[Related: New Dell-Oracle Alliance To Bring Engineered Systems To Dell Customers, Partners]

Oracle also is expected to reveal an alliance with cloud application vendor NetSuite this week.

"Larry and I both agree that Salesforce.com and Oracle need to integrate our clouds," said Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, in a statement, referring to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. "Salesforce.com's CRM integrated with Oracle's Fusion HCM and Financial Cloud is the best of both worlds: the simplicity of Salesforce.com combined with the power of Oracle."

Deploying Oracle's Linux operating system and Exadata servers in Salesforce.com's data centers "will allow us to significantly lower overall hardware, floor space and energy costs, while simultaneously providing our customers with higher performance and better reliability," Salesforce.com executive Vice President Parker Harris said in the statement.

Ellison disclosed the alliances during Oracle's earnings call last week, saying Microsoft, Salesforce.com and NetSuite would be committing to Oracle technology "for years to come."

"As we work with companies globally, we see them looking to transition more and more of their core business functions to the cloud, and the partnership between salesforce.com and Oracle validates this trend," said Corinne Sklar, chief marketing officer at consulting firm and Salesforce.com partner, Bluewolf. "To deliver on its 'customer company' vision, salesforce needs to be able to help mid-sized and large companies become more agile, and the technology partnership with Oracle will provide the platform scalability, security, and interoperability to support that," she told CRN

‪"Salesforce.com and Oracle will no‬ doubt remain fierce competitors on many fronts, but their decision to play nice on core cloud technology will‬ be a big relief to the large customer base they share," she said.

Oracle and Salesforce.com compete in the CRM applications arena, and Benioff and Ellison have been known to engage in competitive trash-talking: In an Oracle OpenWorld keynote in 2010 Ellison famously declared that Saleforce.com was not a cloud company.

The alliances are seen as a win for Oracle because it helps establish the company's database and other software as standards for cloud computing. Oracle's flagship relational database has been under competitive pressure from next-generation databases such as Cassandra and MongoDB for big data computing tasks.

PUBLISHED JUNE 25, 2013