The cloud war is brewing up some choppy seas this week, with Oracle’s OpenWorld revealing long-planned plots towards world domination. Between Oracle’s Fusion release and massive acquisitions like Sun Microsystems, the storage and software firm has signaled its intentions for the year to come. It looks to be a bumpy ride.
And customers? They have to help steer the ship or get out of the way. The New York Times shares some sentiment from customers at the Oracle OpenWorld conference, noting their fear and concern for the industry overall.
“Oracle’s annual takeover of San Francisco pales against its larger ambitions — to supply just about all the technology, software and hardware, that businesses might need. This sweeping agenda has rattled the nerves of customers, who fear that Oracle has its own best interests, not theirs, at heart. The worry is that instead of saving money, customers will end up paying more over the long term, and that Oracle, already known for its aggressive tactics, will use its strong position in software to gain even more leverage over a larger array of products.”
The article goes on to say that some customers are fighting back, forcing Oracle to rethink the processes behind its deliberate limitations:
“…customers are objecting to Oracle’s moves. For example, some of Sun’s largest former customers consist of the large Wall Street players, and they pushed back this year when Oracle moved to limit their choices around the Sun technology. Oracle ultimately gave in to their pleas, reaffirming deals that would let Hewlett-Packard and Dell offer prized Sun software on their hardware.”
It’s insight that breaks through the gaze of “coop-atition,” something we really started to pick apart while at the VMworld 2010 conference earlier this month. Mid-range businesses, clients and partners, like Hosting.com, are beginning to voice their opinions about the ways in which Oracle and other large players are throwing their weight around. It’s becoming reminiscent of software sagas of past, as we relive many of the same businesses and their tactics on a newly set stage.
These tactics are putting off to some employees as well. Java creator James Gosling shares his story about leaving Oracle, citing instances of the company dead-pooling several initiatives Sun had launched.
What’s taking place at Oracle OpenWorld is a lot different than the feelings shared at VMworld, where VMware seems determined to engage its customers, building an army of supporters for a necessary and shared future. Between customers’ demand for more open systems and bitter employees departing from the company, Oracle will need to pay attention to the message being spelled out.