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Amazon and Salesforce working on corporate shift from Oracle technology, claims report

Amazon and Salesforce are reported to be taking major steps to shift the running of their businesses away from a reliance on Oracle technology, to run their businesses.

That is according to sources in a report published by The Information this week.

In particular, the companies have been developing open-source alternatives that hold the potential to undermine Oracle’s core software business. 

Salesforce is reported to be developing its own alternative to Oracle’s dominant SQL database, while Amazon is moving towards open-source technology via NoSQL, the sources claimed.

In mid-December during Oracle’s earnings call, a Wall Street analyst asked whether the company was losing database customers to lower-cost alternatives. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison responded by stating that its huge client base, including the likes of Amazon and Salesforce, weren’t going anywhere.

“Amazon continues to buy Oracle technology to run their business,” Ellison claimed, adding that Amazon spent $50m on Oracle software during the quarter. He also said that Salesforce “runs entirely on Oracle”. 

However, if the sources are to be believed – and The Information has a good reputation for tech-industry investigative journalism – then many other major organisations may also be encouraged to shift from a dependence on Oracle. 

The company doesn’t have the most harmonious of relationships with many of its customers, mostly related to its complex licensing, premium prices and allegations of profit-driven auditing. 

Several years ago this led to the Campaign for Clear Licensing, a not-for-profit body, to suggest that Oracle had left customers “hostile and filled with deep-rooted mistrust”. 

The issue for these customers is a lack of convincing, standardised alternatives and the nuances of migrating underlying database technology to an alternative that might cause problems with applications.

However, the increasing use of cloud services and open-source technologies have opened up avenues for companies willing to take the risk.

Aside from the expense for Amazon and Salesforce to licence and use Oracle’s technology, there is also a competitive edge: both companies have had a constant battle with their older, aggressive rival.

Furthermore, Ellison’s frequent digs at his company’s rivals has also reportedly motivated the companies to consider alternatives.

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