Oracle Open World was a depressingly staid affair (or so it seemed from distance) with the one exception being the schoolyard antics of Larry Ellison and salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. For those who missed it (and how could you?) some historical back and forth is in the video below.
Call be a skeptic but the entire routine just seemed too contrived for me. We all know Ellison is a major investor in a number of SaaS companies (Ellison was an early investor in both salesforce and NetSuite). Despite some back and forth about what constitutes a cloud, and Oracle’s focus on a hardware + software enabled private cloud offering, there relationship between these companies borders on the incestuous. So what’s going on here?
Lauren Carlson, an industry analyst at Software Advice, posts about the battle and points out that it’s closely following the previous battles that Oracle wages with Siebel – and what happened there? Oracle ended acquiring Siebel. So will this play out similarly in this case?
As Carlson points out, salesforce’s revenue from on-demand CRM is roughly two and a half times that which Oracle earns from a comparable category, salesforce therefore is no longer the plucky little upstart hat Ellison could foster, but rather a significant competitor that also has better product features in the hottest of areas (social CRM for example).
With all of this going on, Carlson has started a poll to assess whom people consider the market leader in CRM and, more from a crystal ball gazing perspective, whether people thing Oracle will acquire salesforce. It’s well worth filling in the survey, I’ll write about the results when they’re through