What experts expect from Oracle in 2020: Leadership changes in the Safra Catz era and tougher challenges in the cloud (ORCL)

Larry Ellison and Safra Catz

As 2020 begins, experts say they expect Oracle to focus on making key changes to its top leadership and to fill the void left by CEO Mark Hurd’s death.
Hurd had played a key role in transforming Oracle’s sales organization to make it more effective in the cloud market. Experts see the tech giant bringing in new leaders who could build on what he had accomplished.
Oracle is expected to focus on acquisitions as a way of strengthening its position in the cloud. Experts also see the tech company opening up to more partnerships following last year’s new alliances with Microsoft and VMware.
“We need a kinder and gentler Oracle,” VMware CIO Bask Iyer told Business Insider. “I would expect them to work with every cloud provider, every leading vendor. They have to coexist.”
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Oracle kicks off the 2020s facing questions about how its top leadership could change and whether its cloud strategy could finally take off. The corporate giant will also be at center stage of a major tech showdown as Oracle’s 10-year-old legal brawl with Google goes before the US Supreme Court.

The tech giant ended 2019 on a sad note with the death of CEO Mark Hurd, leaving Safra Catz as solo CEO with founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison playing a more prominent role. Hurd had played a critical role for Oracle’s strategy and experts expect the tech giant to focus this year on filling the void he left, as it grapples with its biggest challenge: the cloud.

While Oracle is dominant in the traditional enterprise tech market, particularly for business software installed in in-house data centers, it has struggled against rivals in the cloud, the fast-growing market that lets businesses to set up networks and access applications on web-based platforms.

“To state the obvious, Oracle is undergoing a deep cloud transformation like all major incumbents in the industry,” Christian Primeau, global CEO of Syntax, a cloud management services company that works with Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft, told Business Insider.

Caught in two battles

Jefferies analyst Brent Thill pointed to two key battlegrounds where Oracle is facing challenges.

“They are caught in the middle of two battles in infrastructure and applications, which is not a great position,” he told Business Insider. “In infrastructure, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are cutting off the oxygen, and in apps other vendors are driving faster innovation like Salesforce, Adobe, Workday, among others.”

Cloud infrastructure covers the basic components of a cloud platform, including access to servers and storage. Oracle is making a big push to be a major player in this space with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), but many experts have been unimpressed with its efforts.

In fact, Oracle has reeled from criticism that it did not embrace the cloud fast enough.

“Oracle is so late to this, that they’ve really lost developer and IT mindshare to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google,” JMP Securities analyst Pat Walravens told Business Insider in a recent interview. “So looking forward, are they going to be …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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