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Deloitte’s Oracle Cloud Leader: Oracle On Oracle An ‘Easy Entry Point’ To Selling Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

OCI is at a tipping point, Deloitte’s Jeff Davis tells CRN. The tech giant’s public cloud delivers unprecedented performance for industrial-grade workloads at lower costs, but a lot of customers have made up their minds as to their cloud transformation strategies.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure stands out in its ability to run industrial-grade workloads at scale, but selling the emerging public cloud is still a challenge in an industry that’s gelled around a few dominant players, according to the leader of Deloitte’s Oracle practice.

As an Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider that entered the market after Amazon and other hyper-scalers made good on early mover advantages, Oracle, along with its partners, often needs to win over enterprises that have tentatively decided on the providers to power their cloud strategies, Jeff Davis, Chief Commercial Officer for the Oracle Business at Deloitte Consulting, told CRN.

While sometimes that’s an uphill battle, Deloitte sees Oracle’s IaaS as a differentiated play, offering tangible benefits in performance and openness, as well as costs that typically undercut competitors by more than half, Davis told CRN.

The global systems integration giant has found the key to pressing those technological advantages is leaning on Oracle’s thriving application business.

[Related: Intel, AMD, Ampere and Nvidia Leaders on Oracle’s Next-Gen Cloud Lineup]

An “easy entry point” for partners is talking about Oracle on Oracle—running the tech giant’s vast application, database and middleware portfolio on OCI.

“It always makes sense,” Davis told CRN. “We’re finding the conversation is a challenge, but you start with Oracle on Oracle, migrating Oracle workloads, and it becomes much easier.”

As Oracle’s cloud-based applications remain a dominant force in the enterprise SaaS market, the infrastructure business that’s been a target of massive investment over the last few years—with the buildout of two dozen regions around the globe so far—is at a tipping point, Davis said.

“This is going to be a really interesting year for Oracle. I think they’re either going to make the business work or they’re going to be in a tough spot for infrastructure,” Davis said.

To do their part, Oracle partners have to overcome some headwinds of perception created by a late entry into the IaaS market and a first-generation product that left a lot to be desired.

After a reset, which involved “hiring a bunch of people from AWS” like recently elevated Oracle Cloud Chief Clay Magouyrk, “now they have a great cloud,” Davis said.

But many customers looking to move on-premises workloads to the cloud assume they will be migrating to AWS because of its overwhelming lead in the cloud market; others are big Microsoft shops so naturally gravitate toward Azure; and some are attracted by unique Google Cloud capabilities.

Deloitte looks to counter such plans by demonstrating how well OCI fares in head-to-head comparisons against those three market leaders.

“What you’re going to find is it’s industrial strength. It’s really built for large workloads,” Davis said.

Oracle Cloud is also more compatible to rival technologies and open source solutions, he said.

“Oracle’s tools and technology are open, you don’t have to use Oracle’s stuff in Oracle cloud, you can just run Oracle cloud,” Davis said. “That gives you a bit of a competitive advantage.”

The economics are particularly attractive, he said, partly because Oracle, unlike competitors, doesn’t charge ingress or egress fees on data flowing through its cloud.

Deloitte often can deliver 50 to 90 percent savings on cloud bills with OCI. But that’s not always enough to seal a deal.

“Clients make emotional decisions and they backfill with logic,” Davis said. And apples to apples comparisons are never really possible in the existing cloud landscape.

AWS develops features at a remarkable pace, Davis said. “But it’s all exclusive to this platform, and it locks you in if you choose to use it.”

Oracle’s investments, on the other hand, focus on development of business solutions, such as several ERP systems, rather than dedicated cloud services.

“They can’t innovate at the speed AWS does, so they just fundamentally took a different path compared to their competitors. Oracle’s innovation expenditures go to developing its application suite, not features specific to its cloud,” Davis said.

As such, Oracle databases can easily run on AWS, Microsoft Azure or GCP, whereas AWS databases only run on their native infrastructure.

One factor that’s now started shifting market perception, and empowering Oracle partners, are some massive customer wins.

The deal struck in April with Zoom Communications was game-changing. And a potential deal to host social media giant TikTok, one on the backburner for now because of political machinations, can also highlight to large enterprises the raw capabilities of OCI.

“What it really means for organizations to see TikTok and others is you have an industrial strength, highly scalable global platform that’s cheap,” he said. “Like a fraction of the cost of other competitors.”

But to succeed in the industry’s most-prohibitive market, Oracle will “have to win hearts and minds,” Davis said. “We’re trying to focus on that with them.”

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