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Inspire 2022: Ellison, Nadella Call Oracle-Microsoft Collaboration ‘A Great Opportunity’ For Partners

Wade Tyler Millward

“Now, we’re making it even easier, launching this new experience that streamlines and simplifies deployment even further – everything from cross-cloud network setup to identity management,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

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Oracle Co-Founder Larry Ellison (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Oracle co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison made a surprise appearance during Microsoft Inspire 2022 this week to promote a new collaboration between the two tech giants, a collaboration that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called “a great opportunity for our partners.”

The companies announced Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, a new, fully managed service for provisioning, accessing and operating enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with an Azure-like experience. The collaboration comes after Oracle executives acknowledged trouble moving customers from on-premises environments to the cloud, a more profitable environment for vendors.

Since 2019, the companies have collaborated on OCI-Azure Interconnect for secure, private interconnections with sub-2 millisecond latency in 11 global regions.

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“Now, we’re making it even easier, launching this new experience that streamlines and simplifies deployment even further – everything from cross-cloud network setup to identity management,” Nadella said. “Once deployed, customers will be able to launch and manage the Oracle services they use every day from Azure so that they can manage their apps and data as a single solution [and] run their most important apps across our cloud platforms seamlessly.”

Nadella, Ellison Share Virtual Inspire 2022 Stage

The partnership between Austin, Texas-based Oracle and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft speaks to the growth of multi-cloud environments, Ellison said.

“You stay in the Azure console, and you can take that Oracle Autonomous Database and run [Microsoft] Power BI against it for analytics, accessing Microsoft services as if they were in Oracle,” Ellison said.

He continued: “Customers are very excited about this because customers like choices. … Now its easy to migrate from on-premises to the cloud. Now it’s easy to get the best persistent data store with the best analytic tool and use them together, regardless of who the supplier is. Customers like that.”

Customers using the service will have no data egress or ingress charges when moving data between OCI and Azure, according to Oracle. The companies also have a collaborative support model to speed up issue resolution through either company.

Customers avoid complex rearchitecting or replatforming to use services from both companies, Nadella said.

Both Platforms Widely Used Already

Thousands of customers already run production workloads across both cloud platforms. Joint customers include AT&T, Marriott International, General Electric and FedEx, according to the companies.

Nadella called the new collaboration “a great opportunity for our partners to help customers run their most important Oracle apps and databases with Azure as they work to speed their cloud migration journeys.

“We have collaborated for decades to help our customers use technologies like Windows Server and Oracle databases together,” he said. “And this partnership really extends that work to the cloud. Bottom line is, we are both very focused on addressing the tough business and technical challenges of our customers. And thats what we’re going to do together.”

The news comes amid great competition between the two tech giants. Microsoft is regarded as having more cloud market share than Oracle, with Microsoft usually ranking just behind Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft And Oracle Busy In M&A

Both have made major acquisitions in the health care technology space. In June, Oracle closed on its $28 billion purchase of health care information system provider Cerner. In March, Microsoft closed on its $16 billion purchase of voice-to-text software provider Nuance, which has a large presence in health care.

The outspoken Ellison has also taken swipes at Microsoft in the past, including declaring Oracle’s cloud offering “much better” than the Big Three of AWS, Microsoft and Google.

“That’s been the big question out there -- was our cloud good enough to compete with Amazon and Google and Microsoft,” Ellison said on a quarterly earnings call in September. “And I think we have answered those questions – it’s not only good enough to compete, in many cases, it’s much better. For security, for performance, for reliability, for cost -- we’re cheaper.”

In a December quarterly earnings call, Oracle CEO Safra Catz said that a Gartner report put Oracle’s cloud offering “higher than where Microsoft – who has been in this longer than us – was a year ago.”

On that same call, Ellison did pay Microsoft a compliment, saying that the company has been able to convert on-premises customers to cloud customers more quickly than Oracle.

“A lot of companies like Microsoft did a great job of moving their entire Microsoft Office install base into the cloud to dramatically increase the size of their cloud business,” Ellison said. “Unfortunately, we didnt have the same option or opportunity.”

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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