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Oracle accelerates blockchain time-to-value with fully-managed platform

Oracle’s strength and differentiation factor has always been the breadth of its offering: IaaS, PaaS and, of course, SaaS. It launched several tools at OpenWorld 2017 in its quest to deliver a really comprehensive suite of SaaS applications, including the new Autonomous Database and Blockchain Cloud Service, part of the Oracle Cloud Platform.

The BCS is a fully managed approach to blockchain, for business customers who want to get started using the technology. Like IBM’s blockchain cloud service, it is built on the open source Hyperledger Fabric project. Oracle joined Hyperledger in August, and says that use of the platform will avoid vendor lock-in.

Amit Zavery, SVP at Oracle Cloud Platform, said, “Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service provides enterprise-grade blockchain capabilities and is able to accelerate innovation for on-premises ERP and cloud-based SaaS and PaaS customers. Enterprises can now streamline operations across their ecosystem and expand their market reach with new revenue streams, sharing data and transacting within and outside the Oracle Cloud.”

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The idea of a secure, distributed ledger like that used for Bitcoin has proven popular with vertical businesses like healthcare and government. Frank Xiong, group VP of Blockchain product development, pointed to farm-to-table provenance (tracking food through the supply chain) as an example of a way in which Oracle’s first dozen early adopter partners are using the blockchain.

Xiong believes BCS is “the most comprehensive distributed ledger technology in the world.” Oracle’s offering is enterprise-ready, with a quick time-to-value (companies can start to develop applications ‘in minutes’) using the company’s managed PaaS tool, he said. It is industry-neutral and works either in the cloud or on-prem – with the understanding that businesses “will not transition to blockchain overnight.”

The BCS is currently in an early adopter phase; partners include integration specialist IntellectEU and small business loan lender Biz2Credit. The latter, with partner AuraBlocks, has used the platform to track unreported credit card earnings, with an estimate of 25 per cent higher returns for lenders.

The Blockchain Cloud Service, like other announcements at this year’s OpenWorld, is part of Oracle’s attempt to compete more fully with established cloud players like AWS and Google

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