Oracle CEO Mark Hurd doesn't seem too concerned about the possibility that some of his customers might venture outside its "Red Stack" and buy cloud infrastructure services from other vendors -- like public cloud IaaS leader Amazon Web Services.
"Strategically, I think customers are going to want to buy infrastructure-as-a-Service from us when they are developing an app," Hurd said in a press conference Monday at Oracle's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.
Oracle is betting customers that buy its Platform-as-a-Service will decide it's easier to get add compute and storage to the mix and buy everything from one vendor.
AWS, Google and Microsoft are driving the costs of these services down in their cloud IaaS price war, but Hurd said Oracle plans to keep pace with future price cuts they make.
"We will price our IaaS exactly the same as Amazon. If you're building apps with our PaaS, you'll naturally want to buy some IaaS from us," Hurd said.
One of the big themes at OpenWorld this year is that Oracle, despite its late entry to the cloud market, now has a portfolio of PaaS, IaaS and software-as-a-service apps that no other vendor can match.
"We are the company that's ahead in the cloud," Hurd said. "Oracle sits today with the strongest suite of cloud capabilities, comparable to no one."
With the Java programing language and Oracle database, "We look at Oracle as being highly differentiated at the platform level," Hurd said.
Oracle also offers a suite of SaaS apps -- including marketing, human resources and ecommerce -- which are all best of breed, Hurd said. Oracle can also connect these apps into suites, which is something other vendors can't do, he said.
"This is going to be extremely attractive to customers. You can build apps without owning any assets," Hurd said. This includes ISVs that use Oracle's cloud for building apps and end users that use it to test and develop apps, he said.
Hurd said Oracle's dominant position in cloud didn't just happen overnight. In addition to spending $5 billion annually on R&D, Oracle has also bolstered its technology portfolio via a number of smart acquisitions, he said.
"We buy the best companies," he said. "We don't buy bad companies. Our strategy has been to build and buy, and then to integrate."
One reason Hurd is so confident about the future is that Oracle's customer base includes some of the largest enterprises on the planet, many of which are still using legacy apps that they've customized.
Now in the new reality of perpetually tight budgets, these large enterprises are looking to take advantage of the cost advantages cloud can bring.
By giving these customers a path to the cloud, Oracle hopes to make itself just as strategic in the cloud as it has been in on-premise software.
"This is a big transformation for these big companies," Hurd said.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 29, 2014