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Oracle announces more autonomous services - our take

Denis Pombriant Profile picture for user denis_pombriant May 7, 2018
Oracle makes further announcements around its infrastructure play. Here's our take through the lens of disruptive innovation.

oracle autonomous cloud
The concept of a loss leader is well established, especially in retail. It means providing something of value to the customer that is low- or no- cost for the vendor. The free samples at your supermarket are a case in point. The small cost to the vendor is more than compensated for if it gets customers to try something.

Oracle may be applying this logic to its rapidly growing cloud initiative. This week the company said it would offer free platinum level support for its Fusion Cloud Applications. It’s a good idea since its point is to get customers who likely purchased legacy on-premise apps to try new Fusion apps in the cloud. Perhaps it’s Oracle’s way of saying they believe their products are so bulletproof that they can take the chance.

At the same time, the company also announced a higher level of chargeable service offering designed to go beyond reactive service. CEO Mark Hurd introduced Group Vice President Customer Success, Catherine Blackmore who made the announcement saying,

We have to care, to invest in helping IT go beyond going live. We need to help customers manage through many changes during the lifecycle.

That’s generally the theme emanating from a press and analyst day and a half that Oracle hosted at its headquarters but the point of the exercise goes beyond simply trying to get customers to try cloud products. In addition to services, Oracle also announced a bevy of products that for all intents look like it is furthering the narrative of building an emerging information utility with which it sees itself competing with numerous other companies from IBM to Amazon to Salesforce, Microsoft and a hand full of others.

To be maximally useful an information utility would need to be always running, able to self-correct, and be able to deliver information and services anywhere. No single vendor will likely own the information utility market. Just like electricity, or the Internet for that matter, the industry will comprise numerous vendors with overlapping offerings that give the impression of ubiquity. Regardless, Oracle will want to have a significant part of that opportunity.

Oracle’s recent announcements including this week’s, take it well down the path toward producing an information utility. Earlier this year the company announced its plan for deploying additional cloud datacenters and it began delivering its autonomous database as well.

New announcements include the introduction of cloud-based autonomous AI and machine learning, integration, application development, integration and analytics. Just the kinds of things you’d need to make information provisioning a utility grade thing. These announcements portend freeing up people to drive better business results. According to the company,

With self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing capabilities for analytics, data integration, mobility, content management and more, customers can focus on accelerating business results by limiting human labor, human error and manual tuning.

Announcements include:

  • Autonomous Analytics Cloud, which combines adaptive intelligence, machine learning and service automation to deliver useful information and break
  • Down barriers between people, places, data, and systems, fundamentally changing the way people analyze, understand, and act on information.

According to the company:

Autonomous Integration Cloud to speed up integration between Oracle and non-Oracle, cloud and legacy applications. The new cloud will help produce the information ubiquity needed in an information utility. Among its features is a self-driven tuning capability that will help manage workloads.

Autonomous Visual Builder Cloud that automates code generation for multiple platforms including iOS and Android.

Amit Zavery, executive vice president of development, Oracle Cloud Platform told the group of analysts and journalists that the latest introductions will reduce operational costs while increasing productivity and ultimately reduce risk. But as with any major innovation, Zavery said,

Embedding AI and machine learning in these cloud services will help organizations innovate in revolutionary new ways.

So additional substantial benefits await discovery.

My take

We speak of disruptive innovation in the singular but it’s really more of a chain of related disruptions that changes an industry or the world.

The Internet, cloud computing, analytics and machine learning, language processing, blockchain, IoT, and other emerging technologies are being brought together in increasingly creative combinations to produce something more significant than any one or even several of them can produce.

While Mark Hurd talks about an information utility not many others are. Regardless of what it is ultimately called, the utilitization of information will have profound effects of democratizing and integrating business and beyond.

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