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Oracle talks up the benefits of key partnerships

Tech giant thinks it makes sense from all sides to work with historic competitors

Fresh from recent announcements that make traditional competitors Microsoft and VMware Oracle's new bedfellows, the company hasn't ruled out more of the same going forward. 

Indeed, Steve Daheb, Oracle's senior vice president of cloud, used a UK press roundtable today on day two of the company's annual conference, OpenWorld, to pour cold water on suggestions the firm historically has been less than open.

Prior to its current cloud strategy, the tech giant had been accused by some of being far too proprietary and essentially locking users in. 

But, that's simply not the case, according to Daheb, who said that even in the on-premise world, Oracle was keen to be open and offer customer choice and flexibility. 

"It's a very open approach. It's interesing, too, that for some reason the default [claim] is that Oracle is the most closed. But if you think about it, Oracle Database, even on-premise, you can run it on anybody's hardware: IBM, HP, Dell EMC,. I can tun Oracle Database on Azure, on Amazon's cloud, on Oracle's cloud... But there is only one place I can run Redshift Aurora and that is on Amazon," Daheb said. 

"So we get painted [in that light], but when you actually look at the facts it's a much more open approach and I think that is just where we came from. We've demonstrated our willingness to partner with people thought of as competitors." 

Recent partnerships show that Oracle is not just paying lip service to the need to be open. Last month, the firm announced an expanded strategic alliance with Microsoft in the UK, which followed on from a similar union in the US.

Then, just yesterday, it announced a further partnership with VMware - all designed to respond to joint customers needs and make it easier for organisations to migrate to the cloud. 

"We're building our datacentres around technology. There are some partnerships involved [in helping us scale]. By the end of next year we will have more DR zones than Amazon has today," Daheb said.

"That's [possible due to] a combination of partnerships and investment we're making and we have been making over the last several years."

Responding to question suggesting Oracle and Microsoft were essentially using a strength in numbers approach to battle Amazon, Daheb said: "It's actually much less nefarious than that... If you think about on-premise and the legacy we've all come from, Oracle has to be able to run on everybody's hardware. We run alongside Microsoft, SAP and most others. I think it's something like 99% of the companies in the world have some flavour of Microsoft and Oracle."

He added: "So that's not a deviation in terms of meeting customers' needs. We're now focused on bringing that to cloud. It's about offering customers choice. The Microsoft partnership didn't happen overnight but it was something customers were asking for. They want to run some stuff on Microsoft and some on Oracle and want to be able to do the same as they move to the cloud."

Daheb cited clothing company GAP as but one customer who is excited about what the potential alliance will deliver in terms of supporting a multi-cloud strategy. 

"VMware was no different either. There's a lot of people who have investments in what they've created on-premise so we've come up with a very simple way to lift and shift that and move that to cloud-based resources," he said.

"So you get the true elasticity and promise of cloud but you keep the integrity of all this work youve done. [It's about answering the question] how do you simplify the migration to the cloud wherever it is? There are benefits to both companies and customers."

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