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Global CIO: At Oracle Open World, Oracle Commits To Cloud Computing

Oracle EVP Thomas Kurian's keynote was initially focused on forthcoming Fusion apps but is now called "Oracle and Cloud Computing."

If the lineup of keynote speakers and their topics for Oracle Open World tells us anything about Oracle's forthcoming strategies, then it looks like Larry Ellison's company is going announce a huge new commitment to cloud computing while shifting its plan for discussing its long-delayed Fusion applications.

I base that possibility on the fact that Oracle executive vice president Thomas Kurian's keynote was originally scheduled to showcase Fusion apps, but will now be all about "Oracle and Cloud Computing" and his company's role in the cloud "throughout the application lifecycle—from development and deployment to management and self-service administration. . . . Oracle's cloud solution spans all layers of the cloud, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and applications or software as a service (SaaS), and this keynote focuses on how Oracle products enable cloud computing."

In turn, none of the descriptions of keynotes to be given by Oracle executives during the massive 5-day event even mentions Fusion apps.

Of course, as is sometimes the case with Oracle, things may not be exactly as they seem. So while there's no question that Kurian's keynote indicates Oracle's increased focus on and commitment to cloud computing, that refocus of Kurian's talk away from Fusion and to the cloud does not necessarily mean Fusion apps will be invisible at the event.

That's because the description for Larry Ellison's keynote says only this: "Oracle Innovations: Join Larry Ellison as he previews the week's announcements and key product innovations." So I think we should look for Ellison to make a number of detailed disclosures about Fusion apps including release dates, pricing, and performance.

It's also an absolute certainty that Ellison will include in his remarks about Fusion apps some pointed digs at SAP.

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Earlier this year, when declaring that Oracle would overtake SAP in enterprise applications and IBM in high-end systems, Ellison skewered SAP's underlying applications architecture, saying it was based on outdated and inflexible technology that would not be able to withstand the demands of real-time businesses.

Six months ago, in a quarterly earnings call with analysts, Ellison described the advantage he sees Oracle having over SAP:

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