RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Oracle, which has a significant presence in the Triangle after its purchase of NetSuite (which had acquired Durham-based Bronto), and Tekelec, is generating buzz in tech world today after its chair Larry Ellison unleashed a barrage of criticism of Jeff Bezos and Amazon on Tuesday.

Ellison, always flamboyant and outspoken, talked with Wall Street analysts about Oracle’s latest earnings when questions came up about increasing competition in the database marketplace – Oracle’s bread and butter.


Ellison then went off, touting Oracle’s prominence and insisting the firm would protect if not expand its customer base (in part through the addition of NetSuite) despite what people are saying about Amazon.

Brad Zelnick of Credit Suisse got the ball rolling, asking:

“Larry, I think we all appreciate how sticky Oracle database is, even it stores some of the most valuable information in the world. But the competitive noise in the market just keeps getting louder and louder. What’s your latest thinking on the competitive dynamics for database?”

Here’s Ellison’s response (edited slightly for length) as provided by business news website SeekingAlpha:

“Well, there is a wonderful Gartner report that ranks the technology. They work all database technology, Oracle ranked with a huge number one lead by Gartner. A distant second is Microsoft. A distant third is IBM. And ridiculously distant for us is Amazon who is making all the noise. We think we have — we have a huge technology leadership in database over Amazon. What Amazon did is they got their database. And by the way, Amazon Aurora is just my sequel Open Source, and Amazon Redshift is also just a borrowed Open Source system. …

“Now the beauty of what Amazon did is they put them on the Amazon cloud and they made them available on the cloud. They did that long before we made the Oracle database available on the cloud. But in terms of technology, there is no way that someone can move — a normal person would move from an Oracle database to an Amazon database. It’s just incredibly expensive and complicated and you’ve got to be willing to give up tons of reliability, tons of security, tons of performance to go ahead and do it. But we have a huge technology advantage.

“Again, don’t believe me read the Gartner report. We’ve never had — the Oracle autonomous database has the biggest technology lead we have ever had in the database world from a technology standpoint. The problem is we have to deliver that autonomous database on first-class cloud infrastructure to be successful in the cloud business. We need more than just a great database. We have the best database but we also need first-class infrastructure to run that database on.

“And we now finally have that with our generation two cloud, and I think you’ll see the combination of the Oracle Autonomous Database in the generation two cloud. You’ll see rapid migration of Oracle from on-premise to the Oracle public cloud and to the Oracle cloud customer. So … we think we are not only going to hold on to our 50% share, we’re going to expand it. Nobody to save maybe — Jeff Bezos gave the command I want to get off the Oracle database. And they’ve been working on this for a few years to try to get off the Oracle database and get on to the Amazon databases. It’s taken Amazon who is dedicated to doing this several years and they are not there yet …”

Want more? You can read the full transcript online. 

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