Digital Transformation Digest: Oracle Bets Big On Cloud, Eye On Amazon Domination, and New Investments In Enterprise Tech

Published on February 13, 2018 by R "Ray" Wang

Oracle Bets Big On Cloud With New Data Centers, SLA, And Autonomous Cloud

Oracle Corporation announced this week plans to add 12 new data-center “regions” as it ramps up competition with Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Google.  Critical to the delivery of cloud infrastructure services and eventually artificial intelligence, the capital spending to quadruple Oracle’s current presence will require significant investment as Oracle plays catch up.  Oracle currently runs cloud data centers in Phoenix, Arizona; Ashburn, VA; London, UK; and Frankfurt, Germany.  Current plans include an additional two to the US, two in Canada, one each in Japan, Korea, Singapore, India, Netherlands, and Switzerland.  In China, Oracle will partner with Tencent.   The middle east may include Saudi Arabia through partnerships.

On the contact side, Oracle announced new enterprise service level agreements (SLAs) with a end-to-end financially backed cloud warranty for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).  Oracle already has an SLA for uptime at 99.995 guarantee for its Oracle Autonomous Database.   In the new SLA,

“Oracle Cloud Infrastructure guarantees it will deliver more than 90 percent of published performance every day in a given month. If it falls below that level for even as few as 44 minutes a month, customers may claim service credits according to Oracle’s terms of service

Adding to the news from the latest Oracle Cloud World in New York, Oracle added to its end to end automation quest for both the Cloud and the Database.  New autonomous database services include Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service for analytics, Oracle Autonomous Database OLTP for transactional and mixed workloads, and Oracle Autonomous NoSQL Database for fast, massive-scale reads and writes.  On the Oracle Cloud Platform, services include application development, mobile and bots, application and data integration, analytics, and security.   The new Oracle Digital Assistant used applied machine learning and neural networks to correlate data and automated user behavior with both SaaS and PaaS services.

Constellation’s Point of View (POV):  Success in the next wave of computing requires significant investment in the cloud infrastructure.  Those who control the keys to massive data aggregation and analysis, low cost compute power, and intelligent processing capability will have the foundation for the next artificial intelligence driven wave.  Oracle’s push to completely autonomize IT operations across its “Red Stack” gives customers a cost effective option.  As Oracle plays catch up in the cloud, the automation and AI differentiation will prove to be an asset as it competes with rivals earlier to market but with older architectures.  Oracle’s success in the market will provide clients with an option as  Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Google rush to fill workloads and grab marketshare.  Customers will benefit as Oracle pushes out innovative products, packaging, and pricing in the market.

Amazon Continues Vertically Integrated Monopoly Quest

The Wall Street Journal last week reported Amazon’s ambitions to deliver “Shipping with Amazon” to debut in Los Angeles and additional cities in the future.   While the investment to go all Amazon with 1.2 to 1.3 billion packages a year seems far off, and the tens of billions of dollars required for planes, trucks, and sorting centers seem enormous, the quest for last mile seems to be in Amazon’s ambitions.  Today UPS handles 20 million packages a day while FedEx handles 12 million packages a day.  The goal is to monetize the empty trucks out for delivery to focus on pick-up.

Recent reports have also surfaced from healthcare executives and news outlets of Amazon’s forays into the medical supply business.  Pitting up against McKesson and Cardinal Health, Amazon sees new ways to drive down cost and improve margins through Amazon Business.  Amazon is touting a more secure and safe approach using modern technology.

Constellation’s (POV):  Today’s digital ecosystems often represent vertically integrated monopolies when one organization aggregates content (i.e. product, service, insight, outcome), network (i.e. distribution capability), and technology (i.e. exponential technologies).  Amazon has succeeded in content categories from commerce, to media, to enterprise software. Amazon has always targeted the high margin, high volume categories and medical supply appears ripe for a target market.

Technology innovations in the cloud, drone delivery, and automation put Amazon as top in class leaders.  On the distribution side, Amazon has leveraged the United States Postal Service on delivery as well as built 100 distribution centers in North America.  The quest to take full control reflects their belief that from a cost and delivery aspect, they need to take the last mile on physical delivery to ensure full barriers to entry in their market and increase margins on Amazon Prime.  Consequently, partners and customers who may compete with Amazon in future endeavors should take note on the overall strategy and plan contingencies in future relationships.  Those who are subsidizing Amazon’s ability to deliver scale should understand the strategic impact to their markets.

Venture Capital Funding Heats Up In Adjacent Enterprise Areas

Investment in enterprise and enterprise cross-over, start-ups often reflect a 12 to 18 month indicator on what feature battles will emerge next.  The recent $17.5M bet by White Star Capital on Unacast focuses on the value of location data.  Unacast has a value prop in providing an aggregation of data supplier partners using GPS signals from cell phones.

Meanwhile, the $25M investment led by Google Ventures in UJET for customer support brings multi-modal interaction for customer support agents.   The goal of bringing all the required contact agent information across immersive channels can drive down support costs and speed up resolution.

Constellation’s POV: As organizations seek mass personalization at scale, contextual data such as location remains locked up in the hands of social and consumer giants.  With Google, Facebook, and Apple collecting most of the world’s location data, other organizations may feel too dependent on a tech giant to provide much needed context and thus turn to Unacast.  Customers can than use this location data to improve marketing efforts in both research and targeting.

The value prop behind UJET, enables innovations in customer support to match innovations in work environments and technologies.  With more home based and mobile customer support agents, the need to provide advanced call details and next best actions will require new delivery models across multi modal channels.  This means lower cost customer support and more effective first call resolution.

Your POV.

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