June 7, 2012

Larry Ellison, Meet The Cloud

Michael Harper for

For better or for worse, Twitter allows anyone with access to the internet or text-enabled cell phone to say whatever they want in 140-character bursts. There has been some good to come from this social network, like the ability to keep up with your favorite authors, directors or sports teams. Of course, there´s the most notable example of Twitter gone good: The micro-blogging service allowed pro-democracy protestors to assemble and communicate with one another during the January 2011 Egyptian protests.

Twitter can also be the source of embarrassment and headache. For instance, this little piece of gossip which emerged this week about a married actor trying to hook up with a model on an airplane.

Twitter can be a proverbial megaphone to a person´s inner monologue. Therefore, when generally outspoken figures join Twitter, it´s easy to become excited in hopes to witness an epic verbal takedown or some other similarly juicy event go down.

As such, when people saw that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, one of Silicon Valley´s most outspoken executive´s, had joined Twitter, many got ready to hear what he has to say. As it stands, @LarryEllison has 23,345 followers, 1 tweet and is following no one, not even @FakeTimCook. Mr. Ellison used his precious first-tweet-ever to push Oracle´s new in-the-cloud social services, as well as knock their biggest competitor, SAP.

"Oracle's got 100+ enterprise applications live in the #cloudtoday, SAP's got nothin' but SuccessFactors until 2020,” typed Ellison. When the real-live Ellison announced these new cloud options to the world yesterday, he also had plenty to say about his competitors.

“Most cloud vendors only have niche assets,” said Ellison in the press statement.   “They don´t have platforms to extend. Oracle is the only vendor that offers a complete suite of modern, socially-enabled applications, all based on a standards-based platform.”

SAP issued a response to Mr. Ellison´s 140-character brag, saying, “As usual, you can tell who Oracle is most worried about by the competitors they criticize most. In this case, Larry's crystal ball is cloudy. Building a profitable cloud business depends on scale–with 17 million users, SAP's SuccessFactors business has the largest user base of any cloud apps provider."

It should be mentioned, however, that Oracle´s entrance into the cloud has been seven years in the making. While his detractors use this fact as an argument against their cloud offerings, Ellison prefers to say they took so long to make sure they got it just right.

“We are eating a lot of our own dog food, and it tastes great,” said Ellison.

Oracle continues to grow this cloud as well. Just yesterday, they announced plans to acquire Collective Intellect, a cloud-based social networking service which gives their clients the ability to constantly track and monitor their brand image on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This data can then be used to create and manage targeted ad campaigns and better sales offerings. Oracle has also recently announced plans to acquire ClearTrial LLC and Virtue, two other cloud-based software providers

As Oracle enters into their legal battles with HP, perhaps we can expect some bold and off-the-cuff statements from Mr. Ellison about HP?