Menu
Oracle's Larry Ellison isn't done building his legacy

Oracle's Larry Ellison isn't done building his legacy

A transformative acquisition and overtaking SAP in applications are just a couple of the goals he may have in mind.

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison speaks at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Sept. 30.

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison speaks at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Sept. 30.

Larry Ellison may no longer be CEO of Oracle, but he's not going anywhere anytime soon. Indeed, as executive chairman and CTO, Ellison is now in a position to focus solely on creating new products and services that will cement his legacy as he enters the twilight of a legendary career in tech.

Oracle declined to make Ellison available for an interview, but here's a look at some possible goals he has in mind before he finally hangs up his hat for good.

To be number one in applications

Ellison likes to talk trash about the industry's largest business application vendor, SAP. His one and only tweet to date even took a slap at SAP, saying the company had "nothin'" but SuccessFactors for cloud applications until 2020, while Oracle already has 100.

His tweet's basic lack of accuracy aside, it adhered to an Ellison pattern: Wave away and even mock rivals, while plotting a path to overcome them.

Ellison, like SAP, has made a series of acquisitions to get a foothold in the SaaS (software-as-a-service) market and round out its on-premises app portfolio, which was built through mega-acquisitions such as PeopleSoft.

Also, Oracle's homegrown Fusion Applications are finally beginning to gain serious traction after an arduous development process and initially modest market interest.

A skeptic might question whether being number one is necessarily important, given Oracle is still making billions and billions of dollars in applications.

For Ellison it is, according to one observer.

"Larry likes to be the visible winner at what he does," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research.

To make (at least) one more transformative acquisition

Oracle has made plenty of acquisitions over the past couple of years, but it hasn't made one comparable in symbolic significance to the purchase of Sun Microsystems in January 2010. That move gave Oracle control of Java, which much of its software is already written in, but most of all Sun got Oracle and Ellison into the hardware business.

Rumors have swirled for years about Oracle buying Hewlett-Packard, a deal that would greatly expand its hardware footprint and also give it a sizable IT services business.

An Oracle-EMC tie-up has also been a favorite topic of speculation. Such a move would give Ellison a fistful of new weapons to battle Oracle's long-time rival IBM, while actually giving Oracle perhaps the broadest catalog of products in all of enterprise technology.

Release another Exadata

Oracle's Exadata database machine, first released in 2008, marked its entry into the hardware business, sort of. Oracle's real goal with systems like Exadata is the profits generated by all the lucrative software licenses customers load into them.

While Oracle has released a series of additional "engineered systems" since Exadata, it's been reticent to give specifics about how well those have been selling. In contrast, Exadata seems to be driving the bulk of engineered systems business.

Oracle will surely continue releasing newer, faster versions of Exadata, but one has to wonder if Ellison would like to come up with a new system that matches Exadata's success.

Win the cloud platform wars

If Oracle has lagged competitors in any areas, they are PaaS (platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service). Only now, after years of development have its offerings in those areas become hardened and generally available in most respects.

Ellison and Oracle are staring at stiff competition from earlier movers in IaaS and PaaS, from Amazon Web Services to Microsoft Azure.

While Ellison and other Oracle executives say the company's IaaS pricing will be competitive with Amazon and others, it could be that Oracle has tempered profit expectations for that segment and views it more as necessary to simply have on the menu.

It's a much different story with Oracle's PaaS, which Ellison pushed hard during his keynote sessions at the recent OpenWorld conference.

Portability and convenience are two selling points, with customers able to move on-premises Java applications to the service with "a push of a button," as Ellison put it.

While touting Oracle's progress, Ellison acknowledged the long road ahead. "We're just getting started," he said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computinginternetOraclesoftwareapplicationsSAPCustomer Relationship ManagementSun Microsystemslarry ellisonInternet-based applications and services

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments