Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Oracle’s Ellison and Salesforce’s Benioff Explain Their Cloud Bromance

Ellison_Benioff_manhugOracle and Salesforce.com have a lot of shared customers who want their respective applications to work together, and so they’re going to make sure that they do.

In fact they expect it. “Salesforce is a big company now. Companies expect us to work together professionally toward the benefit of those customers,” Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said during a conference call with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff that took on the distinct tone of a bromance.

The integration of Salesforce’s core customer relationship software with Oracle’s human resources and financial software is just part of the deal the two companies — whose CEOs have tended to feud in the past — cut on Monday. Today’s conference call was intended to explain some of the deal’s finer points.

Salesforce will be basing its technology both on Oracle’s database software and also on its Exadata hardware. Benioff said Salesforce will be using Oracle’s database for as long as 12 years. “It’s an easy commitment for both of us to make and there’s no company that I’d rather partner with to be the heart of our database infrastructure than Oracle.” Did I mention it sounded like a bromance?

And both hinted that there are and will be more opportunities for them to work together. Benioff called the joint opportunities “endless,” while Ellison suggested it wouldn’t be the last time they hosted a conference call together. Benioff even invited Ellison to speak at Salesforce’s upcoming Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, and Ellison appeared to accept.

Not only will Salesforce become an internal user of Oracle’s financial and HR applications, though not exclusively as was reported yesterday, but Oracle will be using Salesforce.com. “Every time we buy a company they’re using Salesforce’s CRM,” Ellison said. Those acquired companies will continue to use it in order to help work out the kinks involved with integrating it with the Oracle apps, he said.

Eventually, the integration will just be an option that customers using one or the other can simply turn on, available from either, rather than one company or the other reselling the other’s apps. “Oracle will continue to sell Oracle applications and Salesforce will continue to sell Salesforce applications, and the integrations will be available from either company,” Ellison said. “To me, seamless means it’s almost as if it’s coming from one company.” Benioff said there are already examples of similar integrations available on Salesforce’s App Exchange, its app store.

It’s been a big week for Oracle in the cloud. Monday it struck a deal with Microsoft. And Wednesday it cut a strategic deal with Netsuite. Oracle shares rose by more than one percent today to $30.45. Salesforce shares rose by more than two percent. to $38.84.


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