Oracle Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, Larry Ellison
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Oracle’s cloud infrastructure service is still way behind Amazon. But that doesn’t keep Larry Ellison, Oracle’s billionaire co-founder, from taking every available opportunity to tout his cloud over the competition.
At the end of Oracle’s quarterly earnings conference call on Thursday, Ellison made a veiled swipe at Amazon Web Services, which suffered a major outage this week, taking down a wide swath of websites and internet services and knocking out critical tools used by Amazon’s own delivery workers.
Ellison didn’t specifically reference the outage, but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to get his meaning.
“Let me close with a note that I’m going to paraphrase from a very large telecommunications company who uses our cloud and all the other three North American clouds — Google, Amazon and Microsoft,” Ellison said. “And the note basically said the one thing we’ve noticed about Oracle, Oracle’s cloud, is that it never ever goes down. We can’t say that about any of the other clouds. We think this is a critical differentiator.”
Oracle shares rose 11% in extended trading on Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for the fiscal second quarter. Prior to the close, the stock was up 38% this year, trouncing Amazon’s 7% gain.
Taking a step back, Amazon has been the better bet for a long time, with AWS turning Oracle’s cloud infrastructure business largely into an afterthought. Over the past decade, Amazon shares are up 1,700%, while Oracle’s market cap has tripled. And in the latest quarter, revenue at AWS surged 39% to $16.1 billion. Oracle’s revenue in the quarter rose 6% to $10.4 billion.
According to Synergy Research Group, AWS controlled 33% of the global cloud infrastructure market at the end of the second quarter, followed by Microsoft at 20% and Google at 10%. Four other companies stand between Google and Oracle in terms of market share.
That’s never stopped Ellison in the past. During an earnings call in 2016, Ellison told analysts that “We handle the Oracle database much better than Amazon does.” He followed up in 2018 by saying that Amazon will struggle to get off of Oracle’s database, referring to a CNBC report that said Amazon was looking to stop using Oracle’s technology. That same year, at Oracle’s massive user conference, Ellison railed against Amazon’s cloud security.
Even prior to his closing remarks on Thursday, Ellison had some unflattering comments for his larger rival on the earnings call. In discussing the databases that Oracle supports compared to Amazon, Ellison said Oracle’s technology is superior, specifically when it comes to the managed database MySQL.
“We have MySQL, but our version of MySQL is much better than Amazon’s version of MySQL,” Ellison said. “Much faster. I mean, more than ten times faster.”
An AWS representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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