Oracle Does NOT “Get” How to Grow Their Own Cloud Business – And They Should…

While Oracle claims a significant growth rate in Oracle Cloud use, they are not growing to keep pace with the competition.

This blog will not address the statistics, the current market break down but, clearly Amazon, Google, and Azure/Microsoft are kicking Oracle butt and maybe you could even lump in others that are doing better in the cloud than Oracle – e.g. IBM in terms of growth rates and or pure numbers.

What I’m writing this blog about is this:

What is eerily ironic is that Oracle already knows how to gain market share… that knowledge is how they became the dominate force in the database market to start with.  

It was easy, they were the first to GIVE their software to Developers and DBAs to learn it without requiring an expensive license.  Same goes for their documentation.  It was a brilliant marketing maneuver – Larry have you forgotten?

Maybe more than thirty years ago Oracle was allowing Developers to order Oracle Software (before downloads) for FREE.  Other vendors at the time didn’t even give their documentation away and Oracle was giving away the farm.  Oracle still gives their on-premise software and documentation away for learning purposes.

Back then, and a couple decades thru 2010 or so, an army of IT Pros went and got Oracle’s free (for development / learning purposes) on premise software and learned it – in fact a large part of the Asian sub-continent did too (India)… and voila – that combined with the fact that their software was very very good easily propelled them to a lead that no one could over come.

But alas, the days of on-premise dominating are almost over, the writing is on the wall in big bold letters.  The light is dimming on the on-premise data center and it will get worse.

Oracle’s lead in the DB market was… at least until the DevOps / Open Source / Cloud revolutions of the last ten years… practically insurmountable.  No more, those days are over.

Amazon saw this, Microsoft saw this as well as Google long ago and learned their lessons.  All three give incredibly generous and long term FREE tiered access to their cloud and almost all cloud services.  Not Oracle, Oracle gives you 30 days and their cloud services are over priced – that ain’t going to cut it when you are playing catch up, that wouldn’t cut it even if they had a lead – Oracle does not have a lead – at this point they are an also ran – surviving on a dying on-premise market – cannibalizing their own on-premise Clients and claiming that is organic cloud growth.  Nope, it is not.  What it is is just bad marketing strategy plain and simple.  You can’t learn a sophisticated cloud environment in 30 days.

So somehow, someway, Oracle forgot what got them to the top of the heap… it’s not enough to build a great software stack and cloud… you have to train a LARGE army of Developers and DBAs and Solutions Architects to come and use it, to be Oracle ardent disciples / motivated enthusiasts   The only way to make that happen is to given them a sustained free learning period on top of a outstanding cloud product.

If you are going to charge $500 to $2,000 a month for a IT Pros to come and learn their product, it is not going to happen.  Remember Oracle?

I do not doubt that Oracle’s cloud platform is good, on the contrary, it is quite likely very good and will undoubtedly get even better.  But the way things stand, I’ll never know because even though I’m a thirty year Oracle Pro with a basket of Oracle OCP certifications under my belt, I’m not spending even $300/month to learn their cloud stack.  Why would I pay Oracle?  When I can go to the dominate players in the cloud / Oracle’s competition and have a free year to learn their products – and this same competition already has a big head start, AND IT IS GETTING BIGGER.

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