After Larry Ellison’s disclosure late last year that multiple customers had just signed billion-dollar contracts for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), I have to believe this week’s announcement of a huge seven-year deal with Uber means that Uber is now a platinum-level member of Ellison’s billion-dollar OCI Club.
On Oracle’s Dec. 12 fiscal-Q2 earnings call, Ellison said that during the quarter ended Nov. 30, “multiple customers signed contracts for $1 billion worth of infrastructure.” While neither Ellison nor Oracle identified any of those customers, the tone of the Uber deal makes me think that it’s at or near the top of that list.
Regardless of the final dollar volume of the seven-year contract, this strategic partnership with Uber — which I first analyzed yesterday in “Uber Picks Oracle and Google to Drive Cloud-Powered Innovation and Growth — is further proof that Oracle has emerged, without question, as a top-tier hyperscaler competitor to Amazon, Microsoft, and Google Cloud.
And while it’s undeniably true that Oracle’s infrastructure business is much smaller than those of its rivals, Oracle has demonstrated repeatedly that it can compete for and win cloud deals that, only a year or two ago, would have seemed absurdly out of its reach.
- Uber could have picked Microsoft or AWS, but it picked Oracle. Why would it do that, unless Oracle clearly demonstrated its superiority in meeting the extremely demanding requirements of one of the world’s foremost digital-native companies?
- Oracle CEO Safra Catz called the Uber deal a “landmark competitive win” — and I think it would be difficult to overestimate the impact this partnership will have on business leaders at other companies preparing to choose a hyperscaler to help build their digital future.
- Two months ago when Ellison mentioned that “multiple” companies had signed billion-dollar infrastructure deals with Oracle, he also said that Oracle has a total of 22,000 OCI customers (for more on that, please see “Oracle Crushes Q2: 5 Reasons Behind 43% Cloud Surge“). Again, consider that number against the prevailing wisdom we’ve all been fed that Microsoft and AWS were unassailable in the cloud, and that it would be suicide for any company other than Google to try to crash the hyperscaler party.
In a phone conversation earlier this week, Oracle executive vice-president Mark Hura was buoyant in describing the ramifications of the Uber contract.
Hura, who leads Oracle’s cloud and technology business in North America, described it as a great “competitive win” for OCI and its ability to outperform other hyperscalers on not only speed but also price, flexibility, and security.
When I asked Hura to explain which hyperscalers were on the other side of that “competitive win,” he said, “All of them. Look at the workloads Uber is moving and what its goals are as a business and where they want to focus their efforts and assets — in picking us, it really shows what we can do with mission-critical workloads.”
Hura also cited Oracle’s aggressive moves to build out cloud regions as a big attraction for companies like Uber as they evaluate the different hyperscalers. “We now have 41 commercial regions, and we have them in some key places where our competitors don’t, and that’s clearly a strategic differentiation along with speed and performance, plus security, plus economics,” Hura said.
The megadeal with Uber was centered on Uber’s desire to remain a high-growth company and its related need to expand into different businesses with broad global presence, Hura said, which is all reflected in the seven-year duration of the contract.
“As Uber continues to grow — across all its various businesses — we’re honored that they want to be able to partner with Oracle around innovating their various businesses and constantly differentiating what Uber is and what it can do.”