How Oracle Partners Can Maximize Cloud Computing Business Opportunities
by Alison Weiss, June 2010
It’s not your imagination. Cloud computing is everywhere. Everyone in technology is talking about it at work and on the Web, and more and more companies are introducing cloud computing products and services. But like any hot trend, it can be difficult, particularly as an Oracle partner, to determine how best to translate cloud computing buzz into real business opportunities. The good news is that Oracle has a clear cloud computing strategy that offers partners solid ways to profit from cloud computing now and in the future.
What is Cloud Computing? While there are many definitions of cloud computing, most technologists agree that it is a type of computing where pooled resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users don’t need to manage or control the technology infrastructure supplying the service because that technology is off in the clouds. Cloud computing typically breaks down into different tiers: software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS), as well as different deployment options: public clouds, private clouds and hybrid clouds.
Why is Cloud Computing Suddenly on Everyone’s Radar? Cloud computing is not an entirely new phenomenon. Rex Wang, Oracle vice president of product marketing explains. “We think cloud computing is really an evolution of a number of industry trends that have been happening for a decade or more. It’s not completely new and different. It’s an evolution of established, more mature technologies, including SaaS, but also things like grid computing, virtualization, and shared services.” Wang believes that what makes cloud computing different and unique are the advantages of speed, the ability to get up and running quickly, and the cost-savings. He adds, “Cloud computing is based on sharing and resource pooling. You can deliver cloud computing capabilities very efficiently without excessive unused capacity.”
Private and Public Cloud For Oracle partners determining how to maximize cloud computing business opportunities, it is important to be clear about the difference between public and private cloud computing. Kevin O’Brien, Oracle senior director of ISV and SaaS for Worldwide Alliances and Channels, says, “A private cloud is something that sits inside a company’s own data center or in a dedicated data center. A public cloud is shared by multiple tenants and is hosted and managed by a third party service provider.”
Much of the publicity surrounding cloud has focused on companies moving their IT to a public cloud operation, but with cloud computing it’s not all or nothing, says Wang. “We believe a vast majority of companies will adopt a mix of public cloud computing, private cloud computing, and non-cloud. It’s not like everything is moving to cloud and traditional IT deployments will disappear.”
Oracle’s Cloud Strategy Given the realities of the cloud computing market, Oracle’s fundamental strategy is to enable customers to leverage both public and private computing for whatever applications they decide to put on either public clouds or private clouds. “I think the key thing about Oracle as opposed to a lot of our competitors, is the breadth and depth of our offerings, providing complete, open and integrated solutions for customers and partners,” Wang notes. “We are very much looking to provide cloud solutions and enable other service providers.”
Oracle’s cloud computing offerings to partners are the most comprehensive in the industry because they span applications, middleware, database, operating system, virtualization, servers, storage, and management for—all for that entire stack. There are a lot of opportunities for independent software vendors (ISVs), system integrators (SIs), hosting providers, and solution builders and value added resellers (VARs) to partner with Oracle to succeed with cloud computing. O’Brien says, “Our different types of partners have very different perspectives and motivations.”