Oracle inks massive cloud deal with AT&T

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Oracle Corp. is marking a new milestone in its effort to transition from selling traditional on-premises software to cloud services.

The company announced today that AT&T Inc. has agreed to adopt its infrastructure and platform as a service offerings as part of a massive deal that encompasses petabytes of data. The company didn’t share a specific figure, but at a media event today at Oracle headquarters, Chief Executive Mark Hurd indicated in a speech that it’s a significant portion of the “more than exabyte” of information that the carrier possesses.

“A lot of that data sits in Oracle databases,” Hurd said. “The opportunity is for us to run all those databases in the cloud.”

The agreement will see AT&T migrate several thousand Oracle database instances to the provider’s cloud along with the applications they support. Furthermore, the carrier has decided to implement Field Service Cloud, a platform for managing mobile workers that competes with offerings from Salesforce.com Inc., the recently funded MapAnything Inc. and several others. Hurd said that the AT&T will rely the service to support more than 70,000 technicians, which represents the biggest deployment in North America.

The deal with the carrier highlights a key element of the company’s strategy for driving the adoption of its cloud platform. Oracle is trying to lure existing customers into moving their on-premises deployments to its data centers with the promise of increased efficiency and lower overhead. A similar strategy is being pursued by IBM Corp., which is likewise banking on its cloud business to offset declines in traditional product lines.

Both companies are facing an uphill battle against Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., the leaders of the infrastructure as a service market. Oracle has been working to even the playing lately by adding new hardware options and filling the feature gaps in its platform with acquisitions. Last month, it picked up a Dutch startup called Wercker B.V that sells tools for automating software projects.

Oracle’s efforts are already bearing fruit. In its most recent quarterly earnings calls, the company reported to have seen platform and software as a service revenue jump 73 percent on an annualized basis to $1 billion.

With reporting from Robert Hof

Image: Oracle