Cloud collabs: rival vendors looking chummy for now


By Melissa Chua
Wednesday, 18 September, 2013



Cloud collabs: rival vendors looking chummy for now

The Asia Cloud Forum, an online media portal, has been created to represent the interests of enterprise users, governments, telcos, vendors, policy makers and others with a stake in the development of cloud computing in Asia.

Traditional bitter rivals in the IT vendor space appear to be putting their differences aside and forming partnerships with one another in a bid to expand their cloud footprints.

These partnerships, aimed at countering common cloud pitfalls such as integration issues, silos and complexity, have been formed likely out of necessity, as IT bigwigs battle with the likes of Amazon Web Services in capturing the cloud market.

Just last month, Oracle, faced with diminishing market share in its traditional software business due to companies shifting to cloud providers, put its rivalry with Microsoft and Salesforce.com aside and formed alliances with each.

The first collaboration will allow customers to run Oracle software such as Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server on Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure. The joint deal covers both bring-your-own licences and pay-per-use pricing options.

The second agreement, a nine-year deal, will see Salesforce.com standardise on Oracle’s Linux operating system distribution, Java middleware and Exadata server platform. For its part, Oracle will integrate Salesforce.com into its Fusion human resources and financial management cloud platforms, in addition to delivering the core technology to power Salesforce.com’s applications and CRM platform. Salesforce.com will also use Oracle’s Fusion cloud applications in-house.

Oracle also unveiled a cloud alliance with NetSuite, aimed at delivering cloud-based services to mid-size businesses. The pact will see the integration of Oracle’s human resources product with NetSuite’s services for ERP.

These partnerships could signify further integration between applications as enterprises manage their cloud environments in a bid to boost productivity. According to the 2013 State of Cloud Computing survey by InformationWeek, 41% of respondents said they use custom coding, while 33% indicated a lack of cloud application integration.

An Oracle-commissioned survey, conducted last year, showed 54% of respondents indicating their departments had suffered downtime in the last six months due to cloud-integration problems. While 50% of respondents claim to have integrated cloud applications to the extent of being able to access cloud data in other departments from within their department’s business application, one in two departments are still unable to do so.

Of the Oracle-Microsoft partnership, Forrester analyst James Staten noted in a blog post that the deal provides Microsoft with competitive advantages as well because Hyper V will appear stronger against VMware’s vSphere since Oracle software is today supported only on OracleVM and Hyper V.

Staten added the deal would also give Windows Azure “near equal position” against Amazon Web Services in the cloud platform war.

Image credit ©iStockphoto.com/hadynyah

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