Oracle Cloud’s investment roadmap cuts to the core of client challenges
In February, Oracle announced an innovation in its evolving hybrid cloud arsenal - Roving Edge Devices which bring infrastructure services to remote locations, through purpose-built portable ruggedized servers, shipped with a customized software stack.
Taking on real business challenges - such as delivering IT Services in deserts or battlefields, has become a hallmark of Oracle's cloud business, which has spent much of the last few years innovating through its second generation of enterprise infrastructure, launched in 2016. According to Oracle executives, the focus is to home in on specific enterprise challenges and build solutions that address real-world customer use cases. An example of this approach is the pull from business leaders to maximize existing investments - a fact which has seen Oracle partner up with firms such as Microsoft and VMware, deploying solutions that enable enterprises to use the best of Oracle's and its partners capabilities. Following this path, the firm also taps into enterprise fears of vendor lock-in - building hybrid and multi-cloud enablement and openness into the platform's heart.
But perhaps some of the most impactful innovations in Oracle cloud focus on critical enterprise challenges. The firm embeds price and performance predictability into solutions - supported by a commitment never to oversubscribe capacity, and an autonomous DB, offering self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing capabilities providing lower cost, lower risk, and higher availability respectively.
Similarly, Oracle's Cloud@Customer private cloud solutions tap into the growing demand for on-premise private cloud - offering enterprises the same billing, security, operations, and services as the public cloud, but built directly inside the client's premises and fully managed by Oracle remotely. While private cloud solutions are often the preferred option for regulated industries or those with complex technical environments, the solutions are increasingly attractive to enterprises that want to retain some control but still reap many public cloud benefits. Indeed, as the commercial models between public and private blur, many aspects that disincentivized private cloud deployments - such as cost and scale - are no longer relevant. As such, we can expect more demand for innovative private cloud services to grow - and through Cloud@Customer, Oracle is directly positioned to meet it.
Significant investment in its cloud infrastructure will see the firm grow from 29 cloud regions today to over 38 by the end of the year, more than many of its hyperscale competitors. In Europe specifically, the firm has regions in London, Newport, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Zurich - alongside Government-focused regions alongside London and Newport locations, geared to service the UK public sector's unique demands, and Microsoft Interconnects in Amsterdam and London. Oracle plans to build out regions in Sweden, France and Italy by the end of the year.
Oracle often faces criticism for arriving late to the cloud party, often partnered with the view that the firm will struggle to catch up with its hyperscale competitors. But according to James Allerton-Austin, Senior Director, OCI Strategy for EMEA, this has enabled them to take the time to understand and resolve significant issues with cloud services more hastily brought to market by competitors. A fair evaluation given the firm’s rapid expansion globally, and in Europe, matched with growing levels of client satisfaction with the firm's solutions.
Nevertheless, there's a cautionary note - the cloud services market is highly competitive - more so since the COVID-19 pandemic, from which even the most conservative enterprises have dispensed with reservations about the role of cloud in their enterprise. Oracle must continue to innovate, and tackle enterprise challenges head on to consolidate and grow its position in the market.