OPINIONATED Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison didn't hold back Wednesday, attacking several of the firm's rivals as he announced that Oracle will unveil cloud computing products in June.
Speaking at the D10 technology conference, Ellison weighed in about some of the company's strongest partners and biggest competitors as well as Oracle's prospects in the enterprise computing market.
Ellison said that Oracle will make a major push into the cloud computing market on 6 June when it releases its platform as a service (PaaS) offering. The launch will include service versions of the company's database software systems as well as the Fusion brand of applications.
The Oracle CEO said that the company's cloud platform will differentiate itself from competitors through its use of user-controlled virtual machines for each customer rather than a conventional multi-tenant architecture.
"The nice thing is you don't always have to upgrade," Ellison said. "In a multi-tenant model you get the new version when they tell you, [but] when you are in your own virtual machine you upgrade when you decide."
Ellison likened the company's enterprise approach that combines Oracle hardware, middleware and applications to Apple's IOS environment, in that both offer the user full integration from the hardware through the service level. Ellison said that his company will seek to "do for the datacentre what Apple did for the consumer".
Oracle's competitors were also a favourite topic for the outspoken executive. While Ellison said that he still considers Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff a friend, he said he thinks the customer relationship management vendor should hardly be considered the trailblazer of software-as-a-service.
"NetSuite was my idea, I called up Evan Goldberg and said were going to do [enterprise resource planning] on the internet," Ellison said.
"Six months later Marc Benioff found out what NetSuite was going to do and he copied it. He said that is a great idea but rather than do ERP on the web he said let's just try and replicate Siebel."
Salesforce.com had no comment on Ellison's remarks.
Ellison also issued a scathing appraisal of former SAP and HP boss Leo Apotheker that included such terms as "thief" and "idiot".
"They sent him to Bolivia, then they sent him to Mongolia," Ellison said of Apotheker's brief tenure atop HP.
"The board finally figured out they should have left Leo in Mongolia, because when he came to California it really got bad."
Ellison had a less harsh appraisal of Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg. Ellison said that while he is no longer a heavy user of Facebook, he is a fan of the social network and considers it a promising endeavor.
He said, "I told [Zuckerberg] I thought it was a brilliant piece of technology and a world-changing piece of technology." µ