The growth of Oracle's cloud offering could put an end to the vendor's strict reputation for auditing licences, according to its UK channel boss Simon Hill, who claims public cloud is very much the order of the day at the company.
Oracle is considered by many in the channel as extremely strict when it comes to licensing audits. An IDC survey in 2015 found the firm was the channel's least favourite vendor - partly for not being easy to do business with, and partly due to its stance on licensing. Further, the Campaign for Clear Licensing has criticised Oracle on certain issues too, claiming the firm makes a significant amount of revenue from the auditing process.
Hill (pictured) told CRN that the company's statement of intent is to take customers, via partners, to the public cloud. This, he said, could mean licensing is easier for customers, reducing the risk of non-compliance in an audit.
"I see [cloud] absolutely supporting any sort of compliance issues," he said. "Think about cloud and it is very much linked to use cases, so it's based on a requirement set by the customers. Look at the reporting and monitoring we can get from the cloud; it's very much a case that [something] is compliant because it is supporting this database and this application. It's completely transparent so it's a fantastic opportunity for customers to be compliant without an audit. It's almost a self-fulfilling audit. That's a good plus for customers to know and have that confidence that they are compliant because they are in the cloud."
Cloud services are top of the agenda for Oracle. In its most recent financial update for the quarter ending 28 February, Oracle's total cloud revenue rose 62 per cent to just under $1.2bn, taking cloud's contribution to total revenue into the double digits for the first time. Further, its co-CEO Safra Catz said "the increase in revenue from our cloud business has overtaken new software licence business decline on an annual basis".
Hill stressed that cloud is high on the agenda in the UK channel.
"Our statement of intent is absolutely about taking our customers - via partners - to the public cloud," he said. "If you look at our public cloud offering, it's extremely strong. Look at SaaS, PaaS and IaaS - it's very much the market leader, and we have also got the differentiation of being the only organisation with that full, integrated stack from a public cloud perspective.
"We've been working on it for 10 years. We've also got options around that. While the idea is to get customers - via partners - to the cloud, there is a journey. That journey could take weeks or years. We're providing customers with options. The product portfolio is terrific and we've got that overall presence from a public cloud perspective. But the key thing is, we've got this partner centricity about how we take this to the public cloud.
"The install base is massive in terms of our product portfolio. That's applications, middleware, database, infrastructure, systems and storage. The base is absolutely huge. Look at our base at the moment, it offers massive opportunity. We're all about the base. I am reliably informed that is a song. It's all about that base."
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