Two of the world’s most-influential executives — Oracle chairman Larry Ellison and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella — had a fascinating video chat last week to outline the objectives of their new and deeply customer-centric multi-cloud collaboration.
We don’t often get to witness this type of revealing 1:1 discussion between top cloud-industry leaders, but I’m hopeful we’ll see more of them as the cloud becomes an indispensable driver of business transformation and growth. What these leaders say in such discussions — and how they say it, not to mention what they don’t say — can be enormously valuable to business execs pinning more and more of their companies’ fortunes on the cloud.
So, I was particularly encouraged that the three-minute exchange between Nadella and Ellison focused very heavily on customers, the challenges they’re confronting, the opportunities they’re trying to create, and why the Microsoft/Oracle multi-cloud alliance addresses those customer issues and will make life better for those businesses.
There’s no question that what Ellison and Nadella have released with this short video will reverberate well beyond their two companies because customers will, in short order, begin to demand from other cloud providers the same sort of innovative collaboration Oracle and Microsoft have agreed to provide. (For more on that, please see Oracle and Microsoft Collaborate to Create Multi-Cloud Magic.)
This is, I believe, the future state of what multi-cloud environments will be all about, with multi-cloud solutions no longer defined by what cloud vendors are willing to allow but rather by what customers are demanding that they do.
To my ears, the most interesting perspectives from Nadella were these:
- “We’ve seen customers in every industry accelerate the migration of their most mission-critical applications to the cloud.”
- “Every customer I speak with is focused on aligning their IT investments to scale with demand, and moving to the cloud allows them to just do that.”
- “It’s all about helping them improve time to value, increase agility, and lower their costs.”
- “What’s so great about our partnership is that our customers don’t need to do any complex re-architecting and re-platforming to take advantage of both our companies’ services.”
- “Hundreds of customers today in every industry — from life sciences to manufacturing to retail— are already running production workloads across both platforms.”
And from Ellison:
- “You can take the Oracle database and Oracle autonomous database and run Power BI against it for analytics, accessing Microsoft services as if they were in Oracle.”
- “Customers are very excited about this because customers like choices.”
- “Now it’s easy to pick the best persistent data store with the best analytic tool and use them together, regardless of who the supplier is. Customers like that.”
Here’s the transcript of their three-minute video chat, and you can also watch the video itself here.
Ellison: “Hi Satya—great to be here.”
Nadella: “Thanks so much, Larry, for being here and for the partnership. We are very excited to announce this next step in our collaboration together. As you know, we’ve seen customers in every industry accelerate the migration of their most mission-critical applications to the cloud. Every customer I speak with is focused on aligning their IT investments to scale with demand, and moving to the cloud allows them to just do that. It’s all about helping them improve time to value and increase agility, as well as lower costs.
“Two years ago, we [Microsoft and Oracle] created a first-of-its-kind offering to help our customers use the best-of-breed capabilities from Microsoft and Oracle in a single solution. And now we’re making it even easier by launching this new experience that streamlines and simplifies deployment even further with everything from cross-cloud network setup to identity management. Once deployed, customers will be able to launch and manage the Oracle services they use every day from Azure so that they can manage their apps and data as a single solution, and run their most important apps across our cloud platforms seamlessly.”
Ellison: “Yeah, I think both Oracle and Microsoft are excited about this whole concept of multi-cloud. That is, interconnecting both Microsoft Azure and Oracle OCI—the Oracle Cloud—and you stay in the Azure console and you can take that Oracle Autonomous Database and run Power BI against it for analytics, accessing Microsoft services as if they were in Oracle.”
Nadella: “Yeah, that’s absolutely right, Larry, and that’s what’s so great about our partnership is that our customers don’t need to do any complex re-architecting and re-platforming to take advantage of both our companies’ services. Take for example customers who are moving tier-one mission-critical apps to Azure, which are connected to high-performance Oracle database services like Exadata. They can then take advantage of Azure services such as AI and analytics for deeper insights. And in fact, hundreds of customers today in every industry—from life sciences to manufacturing to retail—are already running their production workloads across both our cloud platforms. So with that, Larry, do you want to share what you are hearing from customers?”
Ellison: “Customers are very excited about this because customers like choices. Now you have the choices. Now it’s easy to migrate from on-premise to the cloud. Now it’s easy to pick the best persistent data store with the best analytic tool and use them together, regardless of who the supplier is. Customers like that.”
Nadella: “That’s right and it’s also a great opportunity for our partners to help customers run their most important Oracle apps and databases with Azure as they work to speed their cloud-migration journeys. We have collaborated for decades to help our customers use technologies like Windows Server and Oracle databases together. And this partnership really extends that work to the cloud. Bottom line is we are both very focused on addressing the tough business and technical challenges of our customers. And that’s what we’re going to do together.”
Ellison: “I’d like to take a moment to thank you, Satya, for inviting me to this exciting event, and we’re looking forward to living with Microsoft in a multi-cloud world.”
Nadella: “Thanks so much, Larry.”