Preparing Your Mind to Deal with Oracle and Indian Recruiters

Executive Summary

  • Dealing with terrible entities requires preparation of the mind.
  • We cover how to deal with two of the worst entities in software.

Introduction

This article is a response to a question received regarding dealing with swarms of Indian recruiters. 

I am an SAP SD Consultant in California. I have been contacted by five different recruiting agencies for a local contract. After reviewing each one online, I’ve found they all have terrible reviews. They don’t pay on time or at all, con artist, don’t reimburse for travel, etc. They have some good reviews too, but not sure how authentic they are. Could you please give me some advice? Other than throwing darts to pick one… I don’t know what to do here.

Thanks very much for your time. .

The first thing to notice is that the types of things declared as problems, such as not paying on time, not reimbursing for travel, etc… were not issues in the US IT contract market before Indians arrived and took over most of the IT contract recruiting market. This is more evidence that Indians are dropping the labor standards in IT. And with hundreds of thousands of foreign workers coming into the country every year, as we cover in the article How the H1-B Program Understates The True Number of Yearly H1-B Visas, this is only going to continue to erode US working standards.

This topic is barely mentioned in the standard IT media. The standard IT media, which primarily takes the sides of corporations, which means taking the side of foreign workers that erode the rights, pay, and standards applied to US domestic workers, all of the negative aspects of this Indian invasion of the US IT market are swept under the rug.

Both major corporations and, therefore, IT media are in favor of degraded labor standards in the US because it means more money and more control for them!

What Corporations Are Telling Us

Corporations have made their desire for a complete takeover of IT by foreign workers plain by how they lobby US politicians, as we cover in the article Why Are 47 Entities Lobbying in Favor of the H.R.1044 IT Immigration Bill.

The behavior of corporations with H1-B and in opposing unions and even increases in the minimum wage illustrates that they want to push the US back to the standards prior to the labor movement. This includes no 40 hour work week, no safety standards, no paid time off even for illness (already not offered to low wage workers).

And while this is more apparent than the sun in the sky, IT media entities spend most of their time covering how foreign workers visa programs need to be expanded.

This movie was ahead of its time. This movie perfectly describes how US IT workers feel dealing with Indian recruiters. 

How Bad at Recruiting are Indians?

What is curious is how bad Indian recruiters are at their job.

Not only do Indian recruiters have close to universally terrible ethics, but they normally have enormous English communication problems, they lack conscientiousness, they normally know less about the technology and even what terms stand for than US domestic recruiters. The proposal by the H1-B lobby is that bringing in Indians was all about “skills,” something negated in the article How the Pay Level of H1-B Visa Workers Contradicts Industry’s High Skills Argument, and the article How The H1-Bs Are Pushing Out Domestic US Workers of IT and STEM, is again contradicted by the existence of Indian recruiters in the US. This is yet another arrow in the target of the false construct that all of the Indians that are brought into the US are highly skilled.

Still, with their awful performance as recruiters, they now dominate the US contract recruiting market. This illustrates that whatever they did to accomplish this feat, it was not based upon quality. A major factor that pushed Indian recruiters forward was that such a high percentage of IT workers are now Indian. There is now an enormous number of Indians who believe that US IT jobs belong to them and not to the citizens of the US.

What this shows is that Indians use a specific strategy, which is “flooding the market,” which we cover in the article How Indians Flood the US Market with Indian Resources.

Our Recommendation and Response

Our first recommendation for this questioner and to all domestic US IT workers is to read our article, The Worst SAP Recruiters List. The majority of recruiters on this list are Indian firms, although plenty of UK based firms are also on the list.

The next step we recommend is to get oneself in the right frame of mind.

Time to Sit Down For a Good Prison Movie

I recommend good prison movies. Like this one — called Runaway Train. Its a classic from the 1980s.

This scene is called “I am right here; shoot me.” The protagonist Manny, played by John Voight, is reacting a murder attempt a fellow inmate by set up by the Associate Warden Ranken, who just had to let him out of solitary confinement. 

There are many excellent prison movies that show live at absolute the lowest level. This is a window into the soul of who one will be dealing with.

This type of movie prepares the minds of a civilized person to deal with the uncivilized, which is Indian recruiters and for dealing with Oracle employees. Before the rise of brutal monopolies like Oracle, for which our anti-trust legislation was explicitly designed to bring to heel (and which due to elite influence we have stopped enforcing), and the mass infusion of Indian workers to the US, the treatment of workers was far better. I now have US domestic IT workers reaching out to me frequently.

They are often in a state of shock and unable to process the degradation of the work environment. They can’t say anything or will branded racists and singled out by HR departments for “disrupting harmony.”

The walls are closing in on US domestic IT workers, were in the past, IT workers could find alternative companies to work for say once Cisco or eBay became overrun by Indians who discriminated against them and “Indianized the culture,” there are increasingly fewer places to run. Fewer places to work where Indians have not taken over. US domestic IT contractors now find it increasingly difficult to find US recruiters to work with. They are being forced into working in the degraded environment of Indian IT recruiters.

Domestic IT workers feel constant time pressure. They must deal with Indianization of their field. They must continually obtain new certifications, certifications that Indians cheat or pay other Indians to pass for them — the exact same way that Indian education corruption works. Each US domestic worker sees themselves as “individuals.” Particularly technical individuals in the US have been trained to think of competing on the basis of their skills. 

However, that is not how Indians see it.

Indians function not as individuals but as a hive. Most Indians have much more extensive networks within a few years of working in the US, as US domestic workers have who have spent their entire lives in the US. 

Tick, Tick Tick…

Every year that passes, more older US domestic IT workers retire or leave the profession, and more young Indians come in on foreign worker visas. And this is not merely individuals or H1-B mills like Cognizant, Tata, Wipro, and the rest — as China has had an industrial policy to steal IP and manufacturing capacity from the US, India’s industrial policy is to capture the IT services industry in all of the developed countries. 

This is accomplished by a combination of unbridled immigration fraud and outsourcing to India. Two critical industries for the developed world, are in the process of being rapidly captured by hostile foreign powers.

Both India and China have accomplished a significant part of their objective in just a few decades. We are currently only in the transitory stage. The eventual goal of India and China is to have captured virtually all of these industries — and once they get each area — they intend to keep it. US domestic workers cannot expect their pleas to be “let back into the industry” to be taken seriously. “Opening up” is a one-way street.

Of course, all of this is a small price to pay so that Cisco and Infosys can push down their labor costs and push the saved money to the company’s executives.

Right?

The type of graphic you will never see in an IT media entity. The US now has a higher income inequality than the great depression and is on par with the middle ages — that is when Europe lived under a monarchial system. 

The Reality of Dealing with Indian Recruiters

While prison movies are good to view before interacting with Indian recruiters, however, I see how a non-Indian can deal with an Indian recruiter, in terms of working under contract to them. The information they provide is useless because a very significant percentage of the time, they are merely lying to you. Indian recruiters repeatedly cover up for their own desires by stating..

“The client wants this, the client needs, it is the client.”

By pushing every single unreasonable expectation onto the client, they never have to make the case or justify their requests. Indian society is quite hierarchical, and there is little thinking, beyond the acquisition of narrow technical skills.

Indians Exploit Indians

India is a  country of massive labor exploitation, so most exploitation of Indians happens at the hands of other Indians.

Here bonded labor is shown in India. The managers of this kiln had to be confronted by authorities to actually pay their workers. 

These children are working in a mine in India, which, while technically illegal, is not enforced. 

There is an excellent argument that most of the Indian population is in some shape or form enslaved. Indians only very rarely agitate for changes in India to stop these things. What Indians will put a great deal of effort into is complaining about how US visa restrictions need to be expanded. 

Western elites often question whether they should critique these practices. After all, they aren’t perpetrated by whites — and therefore there is an open question as to whether it is newsworthy or even problematic. And if the offenders are not European, there is very little interest from say The New York Times. The New York Times wants offenders who are white. 

We have been trying to get whites to purchase some of these mines in India where there is child labor. Not because we support child labor — but because without white ownership, there is no racism to how the children are treated in Indian mines, and without the racism angle, there will be no coverage of the child miners. Notice also that Indian media entities do not cover these topics. Media is highly censored in India. Indians have debated me that there is absolutely no bonded labor in India.

Discrimination is Only Illegal if You are White

This also extends to protection for discrimination in the US. Discrimination can only be taken seriously if the victimizers are white. Indians are very happy to use their brown card to engage in extensive discrimination against US domestic workers, as we cover in the article The Amazing Fact That 99.7% of Tata Consulting is Indian. Tata can be certain that they can bring over mass quantities of Indian workers, and never ever have to worry about the US government investigating their many US offices for discrimination.

Indians reach out to me and tell me how they get screwed over by Indian recruiters. So US domestic IT workers should not consider it anything personal, US domestic IT workers are just soft targets.

I cover this in the following article Why Dealing with Indian Recruiters is Futile for Domestic Workers.

Secondly, in most cases, Indian recruiters are not even interested in placing US domestic workers. They need a “proxy” domestic individual so they can appear to be what they aren’t, which is a bottom of the barrel recruiting company that only places Indians. US domestic IT candidates are suitable for this. And US domestic resumes are good to copy from, and then to paste the experience onto an Indian resume. 

Oracle and Indian Recruiters

There are two entities that I try to put myself into a different frame of mind when dealing with. One is anyone who works for Oracle. Oracle is basically a full-time graduate school for chiselers.

This is a rather routine discussion at any office of an Indian recruiter or at the Oracle corporation. 

Indian culture has no real limits in terms of labor exploitation. Labor is exploited in India. India never went through any type of labor movement occured in the developed world, and it is acceptable in India both pay people terribly and to treat them terribly. Abusive treatment is now commonplace in the US IT market, and it is clearly headed further downhill.

In India, the Hindu religion for thousands of years has legitimized the mistreatment of the Dalits or “untouchables.” These people are considered garbage in India and can be treated any higher caste member desires anyway.

How Indians Are Changing IT Labor Standards in the Developed World

The more Indians immigrate to the US and other developed countries like Canada and Australia, the more the labor standards begin to migrate to the Indian level. Indians generally seek to instantiate Indian methods and standards on to the US, rather than adopting the US standards. This is why I cover in the article Contract Clauses to Watch Out for In Indian Professional Service Agreements, how Indian subcontract agreements are appalling.

Conclusion

One has to prepare the mind for dealing with Oracle and Indian recruiters. The mental framework is the same. It is the prison mindset. Dog eat dog, kill, or be killed, and ethics mean nothing. Civilized people must brutalize their minds in preparation for interactions. Cisco, Infosys, IBM, and the many other firms that lobby for more and more foreign workers have decided this is the path forward.

And after all, we have to compete with China.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

Search Our Oracle General Content

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_Train_(film)

Who Makes the Firewall Software Proposed to be Used by Third Party Support Providers?

Executive Summary

  • A firewall is an alternate approach to database security patching.
  • This is recommended by third party support providers for Oracle, but where does this firewall software originate?

Introduction

The Oracle database requires a constant application of security patches or patching. These are a significant overhead for customers, and in reality, most customers do not apply Oracle patches when the vulnerability is first announced.

How to Protect a Database

There are two ways to protect a database — one way is through patching. The second way is by using a database firewall.

Third party support companies for Oracle normally recommend database firewalling as opposed to database patching, which a customer can no longer do, as they lose access to patches from Oracle when they go off of support. Therefore, third party support companies recommend using a firewall rather than applying security patches from Oracle.

A database firewall is explained by ExcitingIP in the following quotation.

The Database Firewalls include a set of pre-defined, customizable security audit policies and they can identify database attacks based on past incidents / threat patterns called ‘signatures’. So, the SQL input statements/ queries are compared to these signatures, which are updated frequently by the vendors to identify known attacks on the database (Many tasks inside a database are implemented as a series of executable SQL statements).

Who Develops Database Firewall Software?

What tends to go unmentioned is that these firewalls are not the IP of the third party Oracle support provider. Instead, they simply leverage firewalls from vendors and wrap up the firewall with their overall support service. For example, Imperva is a well-known firewall vendor and Exitas is another. However, when reading the third party support marketing documentation, and talking to sales reps, it can be difficult to ascertain what we are explaining directly in this article — which is that the firewall software is unrelated to the third-party support provider.

Imperva SecureSphere can be brought up within AWS.

Conclusion

Third party support providers like Rimini Street do a good job of explaining how vendors like Oracle and SAP greatly overcharge for their support. But the intent is to get the customer to not only drop Oracle or SAP support but to hire the third-party support provider. Firewalling software is available on the market both to Oracle customers that either want to change their strategy from Oracle security patching, or for customers that simply want to bring their support internal — which is where the customer itself “self supports.”

There are several areas that the third party support provider covers. However, the area of database firewalling is not part of what the support provider is offering — that is it can be purchased directly from the vendor.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of Oracle

There are two fundamental problems around Oracle. The first is the exaggeration of Oracle, which means that companies that purchased from Oracle end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the Oracle consulting companies simply repeat whatever Oracle says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by Oracle.

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About Oracle

We can provide feedback from multiple Oracle accounts that provide realistic information around a variety of Oracle products — and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like Oracle and all of the large Oracle consulting firms that parrot what Oracle says. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. Oracle and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how companies end up paying for items that are exorbitantly priced, exorbitantly expensive to implement and exorbitantly expensive to maintain.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

Search Our Oracle General Content

References

https://www.imperva.com/resources/resource-library/datasheets/securesphere-database-activity-monitoring-and-database-firewall/

*https://www.excitingip.com/1933/what-are-database-firewalls-why-are-they-required-how-do-they-protect-databases/

https://www.oracle.com/security-alerts/

https://www.mysql.com/products/enterprise/firewall.html

https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/Imperva-Inc-SecureSphere-Database-Firewall-for-AWS/B0153ZQOL0

Is Vishal Sikka Helping Oracle Prepare a Lawsuit Against SAP?

Executive Summary

  • When Vishal Sikka joined the Oracle board of directors, Oracle claimed it was because of his AI knowledge.
  • Our research points to a different reason Oracle has hired Vishal Sikka.

Introduction

This article is essentially part two of the article Is Oracle Board Member Vishal Sikka a World Expert on AI?

The end of that article concludes..

Vishal Sikka is not a world expert on AI, in fact, he is not even prominent in the space.

Vishal Sikka has a Ph.D. in AI but has not done even close to enough work to be considered anywhere close to being what Larry Ellison claimed. This claim by Larry Ellison is yet another attempt to associate Oracle with AI. Who knows if Larry Ellison even believes it. But what Larry Ellison got many media entities to publish is that Oracle has nabbed one of the world’s experts in AI.

Since Vishal got his PhD in AI, Google has since developed products such as TensorFlow which ordinary computer scientist graduates are capable of developing code with. – Markian Jaworsky

We give Larry a 1 out 10 for accuracy in this claim and award him our prestigious Golden Pinocchio Award.

What is the Actual Reason for Oracle Reaching Out to Vishal Sikka?

The previous article established that official story offered by Oracle for their interest in Vishal Sikka does not add up. There is something else odd about the relationship between Oracle and Vishal Sikka, which is that before he joined the board he had a highly lucrative consulting contract with Oracle, which is described below.

However, in the paperwork announcing Sikka’s appointment to its board, Oracle did disclose that it signed a three-month contract with Sikka’s consulting company, Hang Ten, that pays $2,000/hour. Oracle says the contract will involve between 20 – 50 hours of consulting services and sales support per month, which works out to $40,000 – $100,000 a month. That’s on top of the pay and stock Sikka will receive as an Oracle board member. – TechR

This does not sound right. Why would Oracle pay $2,000 per hour simply for Vishal Sikka’s very ordinary AI knowledge? What does Vishal Sikka have that would interest Oracle to offer him a $40,000 to $100,000 per month consulting contract and a board seat?

A Very Deep Rabbit Hole…on the HANA Project

Well for starters, Vishal has in depth knowledge of SAP’s inner workings, but Oracle can and does hire senior executives from SAP on a regular basis.

But Vishal does possess knowledge that is somewhat unique. And that knowledge is Vishal’s understanding of the HANA program. In fact, Vishal is named in the Teradata lawsuit against SAP, as is covered in the following quotation.

While it was actively partnering with Teradata on the Bridge Project, SAP also was developing its own competing database solution—SAP HANA. In the summer of 2009, just months after the Bridge Project formally began, SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner and then-CTO Dr. Vishal Sikka announced their goal of revitalizing SAP’s lackluster and outdated product offerings by developing a new, faster database architecture. Dr. Sikka quickly restructured SAP’s engineering teams to develop and deploy SAP HANA in less than a year, an extremely short time frame for a project of such magnitude.

In November 2010, Dr. Sikka announced at SAP’s annual user conference, SAPPHIRE, that SAP had begun shipping its HANA product. In May 2011, again at SAP’s SAPPHIRE conference, an SAP customer demonstrated HANA for SAP BW to create what purported to be an EDAW-type environment. SAP’s CTO described this version of SAP HANA as incorporating a “massively parallel” database “with various data processing engines”—a similar type of database architecture as that pioneered by Teradata and used in Teradata Database. SAP announced general availability of SAP HANA in June 2011.

Two months later, on August 19, 2011, after the parties had been working on the Bridge Project for nearly three years, SAP unilaterally terminated the project and stopped supporting, selling, or marketing Teradata Foundation. Just days later in September 2011, SAP announced HANA for SAP BW, which combined front-end software with the back-end database engine (HANA) for the purpose of creating an EDAW solution—the same thing Teradata Foundation was intended to achieve.

Unbeknownst to Teradata at the time, SAP stole Teradata’s trade secrets related to optimizing data storage and retrieval (including query execution) in an MPP environment, without authority incorporated them into HANA, and otherwise used them to aid development of HANA, which has become SAP’s flagship database product. Unlike Teradata, which has spent four decades developing its EDAW technologies, SAP managed an initial release of its competing HANA product after spending mere months in development. It has become clear to Teradata that SAP was able to go to market so quickly only because SAP entered into an agreement with Teradata under the false pretense of integrating the two companies’ technologies, stole key Teradata trade secrets, and then incorporated them into and used them to develop HANA. – https://assets.teradata.com/News/2018/2018-06-19-Complaint.pdf

Whatever IP theft did occur, Vishal Sikka would know exactly what it was, as he was leading the team. In fact, Teradata specifically names Vishal Sikka as one of the primary parties that helped SAP steal IP from Teradata.

On information and belief, to overcome this challenge during HANA development, the HANA developers, at the direction of Dr. Sikka, utilized the same solution developed by Teradata’s engineers and developers during the Bridge Project — using Teradata’s trade-secret techniques for optimizing the execution of analytical queries and the speed of data storage and retrieval on large-scale databases.

It said that key SAP employees including Sikka were aware of and supported SAP’s misappropriation of Teradata’s trade secrets during the development of HANA. – The Economic Times of India

Brightwork’s Prediction on the Teradata Lawsuit

Our prediction is that Teradata will either win its lawsuit against SAP, or something will interfere with that outcome before it happens. This would include

  1. Teradata being acquired (we proposed this could happen by SAP in the article Will SAP Acquire Teradata to Extinguish the Lawsuit?)
  2. A normal settlement.

The star witness for Teradata, former SAP employee Thomas Waldbaum has requested US Federal Witness Protection as we covered in the article SAP is Accused of Witness Tampering in Teradata Lawsuit. This is the most shocking legal filing we have ever read and indicated to us that either Thomas Waldbaum is completely insane, or SAP did what Thomas Waldbaum said they did. We find it unlikely that it is the former.

Generalized IP Theft?

However, what has been little discussed is that other database vendors have similar claims against SAP. 1/2 of the Teradata lawsuit deals with anticompetitive behavior, which SAP treated all database partners too while it was pushing their partners out of accounts using false claims around HANA. SAP has a multi decade partnership with Oracle and IBM and Microsoft and other database vendors and they certify their databases for use with SAP applications. The relationships were very open and amiable, as all parties were making money from the arrangement. However, these partnerships allowed SAP to learn a great deal about these databases. These vendors naturally exposed their IP to SAP as part of the certification process.

We covered in the articles Did SAP Just Reinvent the Wheel with HANA?, and How to Understand Fake Innovation in SAP HANA, that SAP had taken IP from multiple database vendors.

Note that we wrote these articles before the Teradata lawsuit, and we had no idea Teradata would file their lawsuit.

Oracle and TomorrowNow

Oracle has already sued SAP. This was the TomorrowNow case where SAP had to admit to IP theft.

States District Court for the Northern District of California case in which Oracle sued SAP, alleging that SAP had engaged in copyright infringement by downloading thousands of copyrighted documents and programs from Oracle’s Customer Connection website. SAP admitted that its subsidiary TomorrowNow had infringed Oracle’s copyrights and a jury awarded Oracle record-high damages in the amount of $1.3 billion. Judge Phyllis Hamilton later vacated the jury’s verdict, which was based on the calculation of a hypothetical license, and granted SAP’s motion for a new trial dependent on Oracle rejecting a remittitur of $272 million. In November 2014, an appeals court ruled for $356.7 million in damages, a decision which was accepted by both parties. – Wikipedia

Therefore, Oracle, although they are a partner with SAP have already sued SAP and won, and they already beat them specifically in a case of IP infringement.

The Story of HANA’s Development: The Impossible Dream

HANA was developed in a very haphazard manner. It began with Hasso Plattner setting up unrealistic design parameters, and then after Hasso Plattner could not get the development team to get HANA to work properly (Hasso is just an “ideas person” and quickly loses focus on things, and likes to hand projects off when real work begins), so Hasso flipped HANA to Vishal Sikka as a special project.

However, HANA’s claims always would be impossible to meet as we cover in the article Articles that Exaggerated HANA’s Benefits. SAP was constantly redesigning HANA, including a large chnage to where many row based tables were added to the database as we cover in the article How Accurate Was John Appleby on HANA SPS08?, even though HANA originally promised to be 100% columnar and as when they introduced HANA 2 which was a major re-architecting of HANA years after it had been released as we cover in the article How the SAP HANA 2 Story Was a Cover for the Real Story.

This meant that the HANA team was desperate to add capabilities that would help it meet Hasso’s unrealistic goals and promises that he and SAP had made to the market. According to our research and according to Teradata, they took shortcuts that resulted in violation of Teradata’s IP.

Vishal Sikka and SAP

Vishal Sikka left SAP very quickly back in 2014. It was noted at the time how abrupt the departure and the fact it was immediate. Vishal is thought to have had a good relationship with Hasso Plattner, but opinions differ as to his general predisposition towards his previous employer. But of course, Oracle is paying him what appears to be a legal advisement consulting contract and also naming him to the board.

These types of enticements are hard to pass up. Secondly, Vishal’s AI startup has received the coverage of his appointment to the board of Oracle as well as Larry Ellison claiming he is a “world expert” on AI, although he clearly is not.

Legal Support for an IP Theft Lawsuit

Much of the work for an Oracle lawsuit has already been done, and is contained in Teradata’s legal filings with the Northern District of California.

Oracle’s IP attorneys have certainly extensively reviewed these documents, conferred with Oracle’s database team, specifically the team that works with SAP to certify SAP databases and to see if any of Oracle’s IP was breached by SAP. Oracle has sued for far less as is evidenced by its lawsuit against Google for violation of its Java IP, which of course it did not own at the time.

Conclusion

Vishal Sikka has one thing that would make Oracle hire him as such a precious consultant rate, and that is his knowledge of the HANA project, which he lead. Vishal Sikka can tell Oracle essentially what SAP took, and Oracle can agree to hold SAP accountable, but not Vishal. Oracle after all would want to collect damages against SAP, not Vishal Sikka. It is in their interest to now protect Vishal and to only expose or bring legal claims in areas that inoculate Vishal from accusations. If Teradata had Vishal Sikka as a consultant or on their board of directors at the time they filed their lawsuit against SAP, Teradata would have conveniently left out the claims they made against him.

The story presented by Oracle that Vishal Sikka was added to the board is a cover story designed to deflect rom the fact that Vishal Sikka is helping Oracle plan its lawsuit against SAP. Oracle can of course choose to file the lawsuit whenever is sees fit, and can continue to review the ongoing information that is flowing from the legal filings with the Northern California District. For instance, from recent filings, Oracle would have determined that SAP is extremely concerned about the testimony from Thomas Waldbaum. There is no reason Oracle cannot hire Thomas Waldbaum as an expert witness after the Teradata lawsuit is complete.

Oracle can then request the same documents (and more) that SAP has provided to the court and to Teradata, and that it is yet to provide (and for which Teradata has complained to the court that SAP has taken far to long to provide). With Vishal Sikka in their pocket, and with access to the Teradata lawsuit, Oracle is an excellent position to file a lawsuit against SAP.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of Oracle

There are two fundamental problems around Oracle. The first is the exaggeration of Oracle, which means that companies that purchased from Oracle end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the Oracle consulting companies simply repeat whatever Oracle says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by Oracle.

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About Oracle

We can provide feedback from multiple Oracle accounts that provide realistic information around a variety of Oracle products — and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like Oracle and all of the large Oracle consulting firms that parrot what Oracle says. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. Oracle and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how companies end up paying for items that are exorbitantly priced, exorbitantly expensive to implement and exorbitantly expensive to maintain.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

Search Our Oracle General Content

References

*https://www.techrseries.com/employee-engagement/oracle-names-vishal-sikka-to-the-board-of-directors/

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/teradata-claims-former-cto-vishal-sikka-was-aware-of-ip-theft-in-lawsuit-against-sap/articleshow/64679793.cms?from=mdr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_Corp._v._SAP_AG

https://www.businessinsider.com/sources-why-vishal-sikka-left-sap-2014-5

https://assets.teradata.com/News/2018/2018-06-19-Complaint.pdf

Is Oracle Board Member Vishal Sikka a World Expert on AI?

Executive Summary

  • When Vishal Sikka joined the Oracle board of directors, Oracle claimed he was one of the world’s leading experts in AI.
  • We analyze whether this claim by Oracle is true.

Introduction

When Vishal Sikka joined Oracle’s board of directors some amazing things were claimed, and then repeated throughout the media.

Notice this web page from the Economic Times of India. He is called one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence.

However, who actually made this claim? Well, it turned out to be Larry Ellison.

“Vishal is one the world’s leading experts in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning,” said Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison. “These AI technologies are key foundational elements of the Oracle Cloud’s Autonomous Infrastructure and Intelligent Applications. Vishal’s expertise and experience makes him ideally suited to provide strategic vision and expert advice to our company and to our customers. He is a most welcome addition to the Oracle Board.” – TechR

First things first.

  1. Oracle has no known AI capabilities and is not known for AI. Oracle, just like other vendors simply uses AI as a marketing construct.
  2. As we covered in the article How Real is Oracle’s Autonomous Database?, the autonomous database is not real and is simply a way of trying to keep pace with AWS’s RDS database service.
  3. Oracle has very little cloud business and is also not considered competent in the cloud, with engineers working in the background to provide faux cloud.
  4. Oracle also does not have “intelligent applications.” Oracle has a number of applications that they acquired because Oracle is not capable of developing effective applications internally.

These are very important points because Larry Ellison tells multiple lies in just one paragraph. So before we get to Larry Ellison’s claim around Vishal Sikka we should first appreciate that everything that Larry Ellison has said in this paragraph is false. Obviously, this does not bode well for anything else we will fact check. But who knows, maybe Larry inserted one true thing in the paragraph.

Larry’s Unending Verbal Diarrhea Of Lies

Now let us get to why Larry Ellison has told so many lies in this paragraph.

Well, Oracle is using trying to get maximum PR benefit from the announcement, and they know this announcement will be carried and repeated uncritically in many outlets. Therefore, the strategy is to incorporate other as many marketing elements into the PR release as possible. Most media outlets employ journalists who have never worked in IT, and they are will repeat whatever is in the press release.

Hence we get to the claim about Vishal Sikka supposedly being a world expert in AI. Notice that The Economic Times of India did not say who said this, it simply included the statement so that it seems as if it is a claim made by The Economic Times of India.

Oracle marketing must have been over the moon when they saw how uncritically this claim was accepted!

When you get inept and deadline constrained media entities who think their job is done when they obtain a quote to repeat your marketing messaging for free, that is referred to as a Crystal Moment

Furthermore, virtually the same story with the exact same quotes was carried in multiple media outlets, with no analysis provided by the media entity. Because so much of the article was simply quotes from Oracle, these articles can be considered as simply having been written by Oracle. This issue of mindless media entities repeating the same press releases was something we specifically noted in the article How Awful Was the Coverage of the McDonald’s AI Acquisition?

No Effort, No Thinking

These “no effort and no thinking” articles help media entities get clicks with minimal investment, but it also makes it look like there is consensus on a topic, when in fact, a large number of media entities have copied and pasted the same press release onto their website. IT media entities know that entities like Oracle have a sophisticated marketing department that is adept at manipulating them. It is not responsible to serve as their passive repeaters, as it takes advantage of the naivete of the reader, and distributes false information.

Evidence of Vishal Sikka’s Expertise in AI

Vishal Sikka began making claims around being an expert in AI when he was raising money for his new AI venture, Vianai, where he raised $50 million. However, I have been following Vishal Sikka for a number of years as I analyze and fact check SAP, and Vishal Sikka was previously the CTO of SAP.

What struck me as odd, is that until very recently, I do not ever recall once hearing about Vishal Sikka within the context of AI. Vishal Sikka’s dissertation is in AI. However, Vishal Sikka is 52 years old. And his work experience shows virtually no AI since that time.

This is not unusual.

Before AI became hot again in the past 4 to 5 years, it was very common for there to be few jobs in AI when Vishal graduated back in 1996, and so people that had degrees in AI moved over into other areas of computing. There are also a bunch of people with degrees in robotics, who switched into general systems implementation or development.

It just so happens that AI is now hot.

Where Did All This AI Work Experience Come From?

Normally to be considered a world expert in something, one needs to actually work in the field, normally for a few decades. However, Vishal Sikka never did this. Vishal Sikka’s work experience shows a person who is both a technology generalist and who has been in very senior roles for over 10 years, including leading a 225,000 person company in Infosys — which is also not known for its AI work. A second point. I spoke to several people I consider AI experts, but who are not in the SAP space. None of them had heard of Vishal Sikka.

I performed a search in an academic search engine, and Vishal has no published articles on AI (since his 1996 dissertation). All of Vishal publications are associated with SAP Labs, which does not publish research as much as marketing material in a research format — but they have multiple authors and its unlikely much of it was Vishal’s work. 

An Amazon book search show no books of on AI and no books of any kind. Nothing.

Vishal Sikka is a world expert in a topic without a single publication in the topic after his dissertation? This has to be the strangest world expert I have ever heard of. Perhaps he is a secret world expert?

In reviewing his Wikipedia entry, Vishal did not work on AI from the time he began at SAP in 2002, and nor would have have had much to do with AI when he was the head of Infosys for 3.5 years.

Vishal Sikka was who Hasso Plattner tapped to complete what was a flawed database design, based upon Hasso Plattner’s massive overestimation of his own capabilities to design a database. For a number of years, Vishal Sikka was presented to audiences as a deep expert in databases. But it is also not clear where Vishal Sikka acquired this expertise, as he had not worked in databases prior to being tasked with recovering the HANA project. This video shows a person who is using the term “fundamentally” frequently but does not appear to have a very good grasp of what he is talking about. SAP has added precisely zero to the intellectual property of databases since HANA was introduced, and SAP has been reverse engineering other far more advanced databases as we cover in the article Did SAP Just Reinvent the Wheel with HANA?

At SAP “enormous innovation” amounts to backward engineering other company’s products. This is something I noted back in 2010 in the article Its Time for the xApp Program to End, and long before Teradata filed its lawsuit against SAP for both anticompetitive behavior and theft of its data warehouse IP (where Vishal Sikka is named as a complicit party).

Specific Topics from the Video

  • Aggregates are a Problem?: Vishal Sikka’s statements about not requiring pre-aggregates (what is a pre-aggregate Vishal?) and closed systems are really just babbling and is designed to sound good, but contains little actual content. Pre-aggregates, or just aggregates are a good part of database design and many aggregates don’t change and don’t need to be recalculated.
  • HANA is Moving Away from Closed Systems?: SAP makes the most closed systems in enterprise software, even having the most punitive controls over accessing their systems, called indirect access. So there is no more closed set of systems than those offered by SAP. HANA itself has its own indirect access liabilities and often requires a second HANA instance as HANA cannot be connected to other systems without incurring indirect access liabilities as we cover in the article The HANA Police.
  • Simplification?: HANA is not a simplification of anything. HANA does not have a more simple data model as we cover in the article Does S/4HANA Have a Simplified Data Model? HANA is the highest maintenance overhead database that we track (which can be seen at The Brightwork Comparison and Scoring of Databases) and has been marred by continual maturity.
  • HANA Replacing Data Marts and Data Warehouses?: SAP customers did not replace data warehouses and data marts with HANA. HANA is a database, not a data warehouse or a data mart. SAP’s goto data warehouse/data mart solution is the BW, and companies simply ported their BW instances to HANA. Nothing of what Vishal is discussing in this area of the video is accurate.
  • Moving to a Single HANA Instance?: One of Vishal’s more hallucinatory proposals was that all applications and analytics would run from a single HANA instance. We covered this fallacy in the article SAP’s Big Idea: ERP Data and Big Data on the Same Database?
  • Massive Performance Improvement?: Vishal makes the claim that a process that previously took 3 days in ERP on Oracle was reduced to 2 seconds on HANA. Let us do the math on this. 3 days × 24 hours per day× 60 minutes per hour × 60 seconds per minute = 259,200 seconds. 259,200 / 2 = 129,600 times faster. This calculation was for an incentive program for loyal customers, which is not even in HANA’s wheelhouse of read performance. It is simply impossible for this claim to be true unless there was something else changed, some type of misconfiguration that Vishal is not including.

This quote encapsulates his view and is a prediction.

I believe in a completely different reality which is significantly more simplifying than what we have used to is in front of us. That is the opportunity that we are after with HANA. I think that reassembly of existing components and layers towards that misses the point. – Vishal Sikka

Well, eight years after this video was made, there is very little different on SAP projects with HANA than from when this video was filmed and these grand projections were made. Analytics run faster, but not any faster than any of the competing databases. SAP’s claims about everything “in memory” never came true because HANA is just another memory-optimized database, although with an overly expensive hardware specification.

Hasso Made Him Do It?

The only “out” that Vishal has here is that he has to repeat whatever Hasso Plattner says, and Hasso Plattner defined the language around HANA before Vishal inherited HANA. With Hasso Plattner, you either do exactly as he says and pretend he is a genius, or you find yourself another job.

Furthermore, none of the things proposed by SAP about HANA’s superiority regarding competing databases turned out to be true. We analyzed claims made by SAP and John Appleby of Bluefin Solutions in the article The Appleby Accuracy Checker: A Study into John Appleby’s Accuracy on HANA.

Therefore, previously, Vishal Sikka was presented to the general public as a database expert, when he was not one. And he did nothing to make HANA a more effective database, yet he constantly receives credit for HANA by journalists, who don’t have the background or interest in fact-checking what happened with HANA. Brightwork Research & Analysis has performed the most independent research on HANA, unlike virtually all media entities in IT, we take no income from SAP or any other vendor and we have concluded that the claims around HANA by Vishal Sikka and SAP are false. And that they must have known they were false at the time they made them.

A Lack of Fact-Checking by Media Entities

In fact, notice this statement from Quartz India.

He is known as the “father of HANA,” SAP’s fastest-growing product ever—in 2014, this platform was generating over $1 billion in revenue.

Being the father of HANA does not even fit with SAP’s official story of HANA, which we cover in the article, Did Hasso Plattner and His Ph.D. Students Invent HANA?

Secondly, this writer is simply repeating false statements made by SAP about HANA, which we fact-checked in the article How Accurate Was SAP on HANA Being the Fastest Growing Product In SAP’s History?

The question on a lot of people’s minds these days is whether SAP HANA will be as big as R/3? Plattner has said several times he believes it will be—while SAP will continue to support its current database partners, it will optimize all of its applications to run on the HANA database. And at TechEd this year, Sikka and SAP offered more details. – ASUG

This is why it is a good idea not to read ASUG (unless you perform media criticism as I do). You end up getting highly slanted information. ASUG is a captive entity to SAP and presents itself as a user group, while it primarily serves as a marketing and customer control arm of SAP, as we cover in the article How ASUG Lost its Way and Sold Out to SAP.

HANA was released in 2011. That has given it over 9 years to grow. If HANA has been the fastest-growing product in SAP’s history, then why is it ranked next to FileMaker according to DB-Engines? 

Even a person who simply works in SAP and has no special research capability knows quite well that the fastest growing product in SAP’s history was R/3.

Vishal’s Legacy of Inaccuracy

I have spent a great deal of time reading quotes from Vishal Sikka, and he tends to speak at a very high level when discussing technology topics. I don’t think of technology insights when I think of Vishal Sikka. When I analyze statements by Vishal Sikka, the most prominent thing that comes to mind is that the things Vishal Sikka says don’t come true.

Here is Vishal Sikka proposing to Denis Howlett (of Diginomica and at the time a recipient of SAP funding) that SAP was putting a lot of emphasis on addressing cancer by running genetic algorithms in HANA.

What is curious is that nothing stated here came true. SAP’s supposed health care solution never became anything used by SAP customers. We covered Vishal Sikka’s inaccuracy in the article How Accurate Was Vishal Sikka on the Future of HANA?

So far, we are the only entity to go back and fact checks whether anything stated here came true. There is also little validity to Vishal Sikka’s statements about running genetic algorithms in the database, as there is plenty of time for processing in medical research. These computers are dedicated to these tasks. The issue is the time required by humans to analyze the outcome.

Vishal Sikka is not occasionally wrong, every time we have checked what happened versus what Vishal Sikka said would happen, Vishal turned out to be wrong. We covered his prediction about Sybase in the article How Accurate Was SAP on the Sybase Acquisition?

Review the accuracy of Vishal Sikka on the Sybase acquisition for yourself.

Safra Catz Adds On to Larry Ellison’s False Claims

As I brought up previously, Oracle wants to wring the most PR value out of its announcement of Vishal being appointed the board.

“The digital transformation of an enterprise is enabled by the rapid adoption of modern cloud applications and technologies,” said Oracle CEO Safra Catz. “Vishal clearly understands how Oracle’s Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure, Autonomous Database and Applications come together in the Oracle Cloud to help our customers drive business value and adapt to change.  I am very happy that he will be joining the Oracle Board.” – TechR

Here we have the same strategy, say that the person you are appointing knows basically “how great you are.”

Vishal Adds On His False Claims

“For years, the Oracle Database has been the heartbeat and life-blood of every large and significant organization in the world,” said Dr. Vishal Sikka. “Today, Oracle is the only one of the big four cloud companies that offers both Enterprise Application Suites and Secure Infrastructure technologies in a single unified cloud.  It’s unique position in both applications and infrastructure paves the way for enormous innovation and growth in the times ahead. I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Board, and be part of this journey.” – TechR

Here Vishal Sikka does some marketing for Oracle and like the other people in this press release he is providing false information. First, as brought up by Markian Jaworksy..

“The big four cloud companies”  🙂 Everyone knows there are only 2 that are big.

And this is quite true. As Oracle has a negligible cloud business, how are they one of the four big cloud companies? So the statement by Vishal is false. As Oracle is not one of the four big cloud companies, it is not..

only one of the big four cloud companies that offers both Enterprise Application Suites and Secure Infrastructure technologies in a single unified cloud

Vishal has only just begun making public statements as a member of Oracle, and he is already providing not slightly, but highly false information.

Vishal also thinks that Oracle is in a unique position in both applications in infrastructure.

Did Vishal Sikka think this back when he worked as the CTO for SAP?

I ask because I can’t find any instances of Vishal Sikka praising Oracle back when he worked for SAP.

Has Vishal told Larry what he thinks about Exalytics?

Because in the video included above, Vishal stated in the video the following.

Based upon what I read at least, I don’t think that Exalytics is worth criticizing. It misses the whole point of the new real time that we believe new enterprises are looking for.

Apparently, Vishal does not think companies should be buying either Exalytics or Exadata.

Vishal’s View on HANA Versus Oracle?

Vishal also did not think much of Oracle 12’s in-memory capability, stating in September 2013 that..

“Well, they are right that it is not comparable to HANA,” Sikka said in an emailed statement.

“The in-memory option they announced completely misses the point because the column store is read-only, and therefore it is a redundant replica of data in the row store, which means redundant storage and at least 5x larger size.”

“Plus, it hasn’t actually been released yet, so please come back and talk to us when it is available,” Sikka added. – ComputerWorld

Furthermore, Vishal stated about Exadata..

 SAP HANA offers more simplification, while Exadata offers more layers. “As businesses attack more-complex problems, they need to rethink all the layers involved in their technology stacks,” said SAP’s Amit Sinha, vice president of Solution Marketing for SAP In-Memory Computing, in a recent conversation. “From the beginning with HANA, Vishal [Sikka] has talked about the need for dramatic simplification. But with Exadata, you still get more layers—it may be faster than your old database structure, but you’ve also got more backup layers, more replication layers, and more of the old stuff that just adds cost and complexity. And cost-shifting is definitely not the same as cost-optimization.” – Forbes

Does Vishal still have such a diminished view of Oracle’s database and data appliance offerings? Becuase it was extremely negative on them.

How about HANA, does Vishal still think that most HANA is so advantageous that SAP accounts should migrate away from Oracle and to HANA. Or has this view changed along with his income and position with Oracle?

If it has changed and he thinks SAP customers should stay with Oracle and not move to “his baby” HANA, then was he lying back when he told everyone that it was critical that the Oracle database was replaced?

SAP Admitting They Took IP from MySQL and Not Teradata

In the court case of Teradata v. SAP, SAP stated in court documents that they took IP from MySQL, and not Teradata, as claimed by Teradata. We cover this in the article How SAP Admitted in Court Documents to Copying from Open Source. This filing would seem to greatly interest Oracle, as they now own MySQL and are fresh off of suing Google over Java.

Conclusion

Vishal Sikka is not a world expert on AI, in fact, he is not even prominent in the space.

Vishal Sikka has a Ph.D. in AI but has not done even close to enough work to be considered anywhere close to being what Larry Ellison claimed. This claim by Larry Ellison is yet another attempt to associate Oracle with AI. Who knows if Larry Ellison even believes it. But what Larry Ellison got many media entities to publish is that Oracle has nabbed one of the world’s experts in AI.

We give Larry a 1 out 10 for accuracy in this claim and award him our prestigious Golden Pinocchio Award.

Curiously, we read every article that provided coverage of the addition of Vishal Sikka to the Oracle board, and we did not find a single article that questioned whether Vishal Sikka was a world expert on AI. Does this mean that the IT media system is credulous and unreliable? Yes, yes it does mean that. Because it is not just this one case, but it is now very standard for IT media to republish press releases without analyzing what they are publishing.

The Real Reason Vishal Sikka is Back Talking About AI

The only reason that Vishal Sikka has suddenly positioned himself as an AI expert is that AI is known as the easiest area to raise venture capital. We consider Vishal Sikka to be a highly unreliable source of information. Larry Ellison has been known to throw enormous sums of money at people who he thinks have AI experience, as we mistakenly believes AI is critical to Oracle’s future. At one point Oracle was paying Vishal Sikka $2000 per hour for his “AI expertise.”

However, in the paperwork announcing Sikka’s appointment to its board, Oracle did disclose that it signed a three-month contract with Sikka’s consulting company, Hang Ten, that pays $2,000/hour. Oracle says the contract will involve between 20 – 50 hours of consulting services and sales support per month, which works out to $40,000 – $100,000 a month. That’s on top of the pay and stock Sikka will receive as an Oracle board member. – TechR

This is surreal, and it illustrates that people with very marginal expertise can raise $50 million in venture capital or $2,000 per hour if they have the right branding, and furthermore that accuracy of previous statements is for all intents and purposes meaningless.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of Oracle

There are two fundamental problems around Oracle. The first is the exaggeration of Oracle, which means that companies that purchased from Oracle end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the Oracle consulting companies simply repeat whatever Oracle says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by Oracle.

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About Oracle

We can provide feedback from multiple Oracle accounts that provide realistic information around a variety of Oracle products — and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like Oracle and all of the large Oracle consulting firms that parrot what Oracle says. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. Oracle and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how companies end up paying for items that are exorbitantly priced, exorbitantly expensive to implement and exorbitantly expensive to maintain.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

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References

*https://www.techrseries.com/employee-engagement/oracle-names-vishal-sikka-to-the-board-of-directors/

https://hai.stanford.edu/people/vishal-sikka

https://www.asug.com/news/vishal-sikka-gets-real-on-sap-hana-benefits-and-barriers

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2484973/sap-hana-isn-t–even-comparable–to-oracle-s-in-memory-technology–hurd-says.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2011/06/23/the-top-10-reasons-sap-hana-is-disrupting-larry-ellisons-grand-plans/#3f2eaaf83e92

https://www.businessinsider.com/oracle-vishal-sikka-joined-oracle-board-2019-12

https://qz.com/india/1057676/vishal-sikka-is-the-tech-oracle-indian-it-desperately-needed-but-shunned/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishal_Sikka

https://qz.com/india/1057676/vishal-sikka-is-the-tech-oracle-indian-it-desperately-needed-but-shunned/

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/software/artificial-intelligence-expert-vishal-sikka-joins-oracles-board-of-directors/articleshow/72457388.cms

Is Oracle in Trouble (Longer Term) for Oracle Cloud vs AWS?

Executive Summary

  • Oracle is a dominant database vendor, but Oracle is set to lose out in database growth as well as IaaS growth in the future.
  • How AWS threatens Oracle’s account control and how AWS dramatically differs from Oracle in using products themselves
  • Our prediction of what will happen versus AWS (Oracle Cloud vs AWS)

Introduction

This blog focuses on SAP HANA and related topics, and of course, Oracle database is a related topic. SAP HANA was designed not to benefit customers, not to bring anything particularly advantageous to the market, but to grab the high margin database business from Oracle. Oracle is the dominant database that SAP customers use. SAP thought that if they used enough false claims about HANA they could claim a large share of the database market. Bill McDermott predicted that by this time, 7 years after HANA was introduced, SAP would be the number two database vendor in the world.

SAP made all manner of exaggerations in order to promote its customers to drop Oracle in favor of HANA. All of these claims have been researched by Brightwork Research & Analysis and have been proven to be untrue. Oracle’s future database dominance will be challenged, but not by SAP. 

In this article, we will observe something quite interesting about their popularity in databases and what it might mean for the company’s future.

Understanding the DB-Engines Ranking  for Oracle Cloud vs AWS

DB-Engines ranking is a site that uses a method that combines a series of factors to result in a rank of how widely a particular database is used. So what factors do they use? Well, I have listed their description of their method below:

“Number of mentions of the system on websites, measured as number of results in search engines queries. At the moment, we use Google, Bing and Yandex for this measurement. In order to count only relevant results, we are searching for <system name> together with the term database, e.g. “Oracle” and “database”.

General interest in the system. For this measurement, we use the frequency of searches in Google Trends.

Frequency of technical discussions about the system. We use the number of related questions and the number of interested users on the well-known IT-related Q&A sites Stack Overflow and DBA Stack Exchange.

Number of job offers, in which the system is mentioned. We use the number of offers on the leading job search engines Indeed and Simply Hired.

Number of profiles in professional networks, in which the system is mentioned. We use the internationally most popular professional networks LinkedIn and Upwork.

Relevance in social networks. We count the number of Twitter tweets, in which the system is mentioned.” – DB-Engines

This seems like a reasonable way to perform a ranking.

Oracle’s Growth Rate

To begin, let us review the usage/popularity list from DB-Engines.

DB-Engine rankings can go up and down over time, so when we refreshed this article we took a second data point.

Oracle’s decline has continued, but interestingly, MySQL and SQL Server have turned significantly negative. This does not track what we will discuss, which is Oracle databases which are switched from being on premises to being hosted with AWS or Azure or other — reducing Oracle’s support revenue. 

Oracle’s DB-Engines Ranking for Oracle Cloud vs AWS

Oracle has two of the fastest declining databases in terms of popularity on the entire list of databases. MySQL is less of a concern as Oracle makes little money on MySQL as it is open source. However, Oracle’s proprietary databases are steeply declining in popularity. Now the overall database market is not growing very fast. In fact, the top 2 databases have an average growth rate of 4.2%. Although it should be mentioned DB-Engines is not measuring revenues, but rather popularity.

  • Clearly, databases that are growing very rapidly such as PostgreSQL and MariaDB are simply taking market share that Oracle is losing. Of all the open source databases, PostgreSQL has probably the best overlap with Oracle in terms of higher-level functions. However, it is also true that many companies that use Oracle don’t take advantage of Oracle higher level functions. That is they purchased Oracle on the basis of brand recognition and defensibility if something were to go wrong (i.e. the IBM argument “no one ever got fired for buying IBM”)
  • This means lower cost databases are eroding the market share of a high-cost database, with high maintenance costs (but with more ability to be tuned).

Oracle’s Long-Term Growth

DB Engines also shows the long-term trend of Oracle.

This is a rather shocking and severe decline. What is curious is how little this is commented upon. Oracle’s databases have not declined, but open source alternatives are eating away at Oracle’s market share, as well as lower priced databases like Microsoft’s SQL Server. Let us look at SQL Server’s growth. 

This graphic is misleading, however. It makes Oracle’s decline look more much severe than it actually is. This is because the base is set to 1.3, instead of zero. If we look at the actual percentage decline from Jan 2013 to July 2017 it is 1.5k – 1.35k or .15. .15/1.5 = 10%.

However, if we look at the graph, it looks like a decline of over 50%. This is the problem with graphs that do not have the x axis set to zero.

Also, this does not seem to match the 97% decline year over year presented in the table. July 2016 shows Oracle with a popularity of roughly 14.2. A decline from 14.2 to 13.7 is .5/14.2 = 3.5%. So how does that comport with DB-Engine’s estimate of 97% decline year over year?

After a significant period of decline in 2014, 2015, SQL Server is regaining its popularity. But is not indicative of long-term growth. 

PostgreSQL is a highly technically competent open source database. After 2014, PostgreSQL has grown consistently. This is exactly the type of database that it taking market share from Oracle, and looks ready to do so in the future. 

Oracle and the Cloud (Oracle Cloud vs AWS)

Oracle is like SAP, a vendor that flourish and is completely designed for the on-premises model. Oracle has two major problems with the cloud.

  1. SaaS vendors tend to not choose Oracle. And prominent SaaS vendors like Salesforce that do use Oracle are trying to move away from them.
  2. Oracle’s applications are not substantially used in the cloud. Oracle sells cloud licenses (because this is how Oracle compensates salespeople) but Oracle sells both the on-premises license and the cloud license bundled. However the cloud license is far less frequently used, and it becomes shelfware — all of this is an attempt to cloud wash Oracle’s earnings for Wall Street.

This following point is brought up by Ahmed Azmi.

“Oracle is obsessed with AWS. Over the past couple of years, Oracle’s marketing machine has been completely fixated on Amazon’s cloud business. I knew something was up when Larry used most of his hour-long keynote at Open World ’16 in San Francisco to trash AWS’ slow first-generation cloud infrastructure.

By October 2017, AWS migrated over 40,000 databases to their cloud. The majority of which are Oracle instances. Why’s this a threat? Because these are AWS fully managed instances. This means AWS takes care of the full range of database administration work including upgrading, patching, and security.”

How AWS Explains This Topic

This is explained in the AWS page on the benefits of managed databases like AWS RDS.

“Many customers prefer to use Amazon RDS for Oracle because it frees them to focus on application development. Amazon RDS automates time-consuming database
administration tasks, including provisioning, backups, software patching, monitoring, and hardware scaling. Amazon RDS simplifies the task of running a database by eliminating the need to plan and provision the infrastructure as well as install, configure, and maintain the database software.”Strategies for Migrating Oracle Databases to AWS

As we are currently doing application development ourselves for our application the Brightwork Explorer, this resonates with us. We want the database to just work, and don’t want to worry about all the database maintenance, which is why we are going with AWS ourselves.

Ahmed continues….

“The AWS threat is so serious, Oracle resorted to the most desperate anti-competitive measure the industry has seen in decades. In January 2017, Oracle quietly doubled its database license for instances hosted on AWS cloud!”

How AWS is Changing How Customers Staff Database Management

This next quote from Ahmed gets into how AWS is changing how customers staff database management, essentially outsourcing it to AWS.

“This is irresistible to many customers because they no longer need to keep as many DBA’s on their payroll. The savings are really quite significant. The operational agility is even better. This model is a no-brainer not only for small businesses, but also for large companies trying to do more with less.

But that’s just an appetizer. Here’s the main course: A fully managed database is a trouble-free database. In other words, customers can easily drop the annual 22% maintenance and support fee they pay Oracle and save really BIG. That’s the existential threat because nearly 50% of Oracle’s annual revenue is generated from install base M&S. The cash cow is moving to greener pastures.”

But familiarity becomes less of a concern if someone else is managing it — providing the DBA, etc… And to Ahmed’s point, AWS has a history of proving managed DBs; Oracle never had this background. (They are an on-premises vendor in their heritage — and as Ahmed points out in their actual revenues).

The customer buys the database and hires their own DBA. That has been their model.

How AWS Threatens Oracle Account Control

Oracle (overall) is vulnerable to database maintenance loss because everything Oracle does is based upon its account control which is based upon its monopolistic control over the database.

If AWS threatens that, it threatens everything else that Oracle does — including their account control.

Ahmed’s quote regarding commoditization of the database layer is as follows.

“Cloud computing commoditized hardware. Now, it’s commoditizing software starting with database. The database, a back-end process by definition, is the perfect candidate for automation.

What happens when a database is commoditized? Just like compute and storage, customers only care about the SLA not the manufacturer. They no longer care HOW you deliver 99% availability because that’s no longer their concern. In this case, why keep paying millions for M&S? You no longer maintain the database and you loathe tech support.”

How Oracle Cloud vs AWS Differs in How the Companies Go To Market

And this shows a difference in how Oracle and AWS go to market.

“AWS and Google are developer-focused. They sell to developers. When your buyer is a developer, you really need credentials. You get credentials from building not buying and reselling.

You may be surprised to learn that AWS hired so many seasoned Oracle salespeople. They hire them because they own the account relationships at many organizations and know how to open doors. Long years of experience also gives you a deep understanding of the local market.

AWS goes to market primarily by gaining grass root mindshare for their developer centric tools. You can call it B2D2B where developers use the services to build solutions then they (the developers) do the selling internally on behalf of AWS. They showcase their work to management as social proof. Much of the process, as you said, is self-service. You don’t need nearly as many sales people. The products do much of the “talking”.”

This gets into the topic of the prominence of the database as it becomes a service.

“The database trajectory is a micro-service. Apps and developers only need to know the API/SQL. If the service provider switched overnight to another SLA-compatible micro-service that happens to run say RedShift, who cares?”

Migrating Oracle to AWS (Lo0king Easier and Easier)

As pointed out by Ahmed, AWS has hired ex-Oracle sales to get Oracle accounts transfer to AWS hosting. A major part of Oracle keeping its customers is inertia. AWS’s hiring to sales reps (many who were let go by Oracle in an effort to go younger and cut its sales costs, explained by Ahmed in the following quotation).

“The idea is to replace as many highly experienced (expensive) account reps with much cheaper fresh grads to lower operating cost enough to report a net profit for product lines where sales growth has stalled.

The justification is that in such accounts, experienced reps add no value since the customer is already locked into long-term contracts and account control is already established via lock-in and the prohibitively high switching cost.

The problem, as Mark Dalton noted, is that those high-profile reps joined competitors like AWS, Google, Salesforce, and Workday. They took with them the account relationships, deep industry insights customers want more than anything else, and some pretty persuasive, time-tested, competitive tactics.

It’s dangerous to think that the credentials of an enterprise sales rep is a replaceable commodity.”

This is clear evidence that AWS is becoming more aggressive in going after Oracle’s maintenance business. AWS did not have to do this. They could have sat back and continued to receive inbound business and continued to grow very well. However, out guess is that AWS saw the opportunity to seriously cut into Oracle’s maintenance business, and by selectively hiring ex-Oracle sales reps decided to alter their normal sales strategy. How can we put this, AWS essentially said to Oracle “For you, we will make an exception.”

But AWS also has online educational material that explains how to migrate Oracle DBs to AWS as well as Oracle DB to AWS’s DBs like Aurora.

They also offer a migration service. 

We have always found that AWS has some of the best technical documentation, and all of it available on the web. 

The Multiple of the Initial License Paid Per Database Version Since Purchased

 
Database Version
Overpayment Multiples of Initial Net License Charge
% of Oracle DB Customers
2Oracle 12c
N/A
3Oracle 11g
2.75
31%
4Oracle 10g
3.75
29%
5Oracle9i
4.25
21%
6Oracle 8i
4.75
13%

In AWS’s documentation, it shows different approaches for exporting databases from Oracle.

 This is the SQL Database Copy, (for smaller databases).

...which changes depending upon the size of the database. SQL Loader for databases smaller than 10 GB. 

The more customers have customized the Oracle database, the more they have followed Oracle’s advice and placed stored procedures in the database, the more difficult it will be for them to migrate their data to AWS, and also to other non-Oracle databases.

A big part of AWS’s strategy for grabbing Oracle support business is by having customers help themselves as much as possible.

How Oracle Really Sees the Cloud (Oracle Cloud vs AWS)

Oracle appears to have a weak commitment to the cloud as anything more than a mechanism to extract more income from companies and to get a higher multiple from Wall Street. This following quotation is the problem that companies run into when they both try to message to customers and to Wall Street, you end up with inconsistencies.

“And healthy margins are what Oracle’s cloud strategy is all about. “When a customer who is on-prem paying us support moved to the cloud, they pay us more money,” Hurd explained on the most recent earnings call. “They don’t pay us one to one, they don’t pay us two to one, they pay us more like three to one. In some cases more than three to one.”Forbes

How is a customer supposed to interpret this statement from Mark Hurd?

More reality regarding Oracle’s true commitment to the cloud is offered by Mark Dalton, CEO of AutoDeploy.

“Oracle has cloud marketing, AWS has the real deal. The capabilities that AWS has so far outpaces anything Oracle talks about, it is astonishing. I would urge everyone to watch Werner Vogels and Andy Jassey’s talks at Reinvent, last year. Vogels is particularly good.

On Oracle sales front, I used to think the biggest threat to Oracle was not having a fully baked cloud roadmap. I’ve come around to think that it’s the massive sales force that Oracle has alienated, and now have huge upside to go work with Google, Amazon, SFDC etc….Oracle is losing the institutional knowledge of their sales teams. They just push cloud cloud cloud regardless of customer needs. It’s a problem.”

What is the Value of Oracle Support?

Oracle support is as little in value-add as SAP’s, and Rimini Street was essentially originated as an idea to go after this 90%+ margin business that Oracle has in its support. As with SAP support, it is one of the great areas of waste in IT budgets for companies that use SAP or Oracle.

“As a recent Rimini Street survey showed, as much as 74 percent of Oracle customers are running unsupported, with half of Oracle’s customers not sure what they’re paying for. These customers are likely paying full-fat maintenance fees for no-fat support (meaning they get no updates, fixes, or security alerts for that money).” NZ Reseller

This article brings up the question of whether you should be hosting with Oracle. That is, is IaaS and managed DBs a core thing for Oracle? Oracle has immense resources and can cut the price on its IaaS BDs, but the price is not the only factor, but other probably more important features are selected and options for one. So what if a customer want to migrate some of my current Oracle DBs to Redshift or try out other DBs, is Oracle a good choice for my IaaS provider? No. Oracle will, of course, lock them into Oracle.

How about proven managed DB capability. Is this an Oracle core “thing?” No. Oracle is doing this defensively.

Again Oracle seems to be transitioning to managed DBs rather than it being something they have normally done.

How AWS Differs Dramatically from Oracle in Using Products Themselves

Have you noticed how little AWS talks or makes announcements or talks about how much they are investing in A or B? Amazon is huge but very quiet. They don’t have to make big pronouncements; they don’t need expensive sales reps — they just quietly grow market share by being more efficient and offering more choice.

If you don’t actually use your own stuff, you are much more likely just to create trendy stuff that sounds cool. SAP does this. They sell software on the basis of things that sound cool, and they don’t care if any of the cool things end up being true.

Oracle has made announcements that they are investing mightily in data centers as the following quotation attests.

“The future of IT is autonomous. With our expanded, modern data centers, Oracle is uniquely suited to deliver the most autonomous technologies in the world,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. “As we invest, our margins will continue to expand. And with our global datacenter expansion, we are able to help customers lower IT costs, mitigate risks and compete like they never have before.”

First, Oracle has actually very little to show for the “autonomous database” which is a response to AWS’s managed service. The vast majority of Oracle instances globally are managed the old fashioned way, inefficiently, on-premises and with little in the way of automation.

Second Oracle seems to think the only thing that separates them from AWS that will make the difference between Oracle Cloud vs AWS is more servers and more sysadmins. But if customers are looking to have someone manage their databases why would they want to be locked into one database vendor?

  • If possible, (which it is) it is preferable to choose an entity that is database agnostic.
  • An entity that can offer scale economies in Oracle’s database that even Oracle can’t seem to offer?
  • And if the database becomes managed, then the preference for Oracle DB will decline, as much of Oracle’s market share in DBs currently is due to familiarity with IT departments.

A Prediction of What Will Happen Versus AWS  (Oracle Cloud vs AWS)

Sounds like Oracle is going to lose a lot of maintenance to AWS in the coming years.

This whole thing with Oracle being able to charge so much for their database for such long periods of time so long is odd.

Normally customers say Oracle is their least liked vendor, and yet they have this leverage over their customers for so long while there are so many good options available. The old argument was MySQL was not heavy duty enough, but now PostgresSQL brings scale and performance. MariaDB has built-in cloud features that 12c does not have.

AWS sees a big fat margin in Oracle maintenance and they are going after it.

Oracle’s Attempt to Respond to AWS with Pricing

Oracle has claimed that customers that switch from AWS to Oracle for managed DBs will see their costs decrease.

Ahmed Azmi has the following observation on this.

“Larry doubles Oracle DB license on AWS then claims he can halve the cost on Oracle cloud. When Larry’s gone, I’m going to miss his funny antics. Ethics aside.

Nobody can compete with Amazon or AWS on price leadership. Google’s the only exception because of their monstrous scale and pervasive automation. Everyone else, in comparison, has enormous cost inefficiencies. If you have any lingering doubts, ask Verizon, HP, Cisco, Rackspace, and VMware.”

Oracle as a Highly Expensive Offering with High TCO

Oracle has always been a very expensive offering — literally, customers constantly complain about Oracle’s pricing. I have heard these stories for decades now. But all of a sudden Oracle is going to cut the cost in half. Its difficult to believe because its antithetical to what Oracle has been about. That history does not get wiped away because Hurd or Ellison make some statement about pricing at a presentation.

The standard argument offered by Oracle has been their database is better than all other databases. That is a different topic. But it has not been the price argument.

Here is another story that makes the Oracle price declaration seem unrealistic.

“According to that story, Oracle, which would not comment, is calling lawyers in faster to invoke “breach notices.” These contractual notices mandate that non-compliant customers stop using the relevant software within 30 days. If the software in question happens to be the company’s lifeblood database, that is a potentially lethal threat. But guess how the customer can avoid all that unpleasantness? By buying cloud! Cha-ching for Oracle.” – Fortune

And in this quote.

“The secret: tricking customers into using features they haven’t licensed. “Oracle’s licensing policies are notoriously vague and confusing,” said Robert Sheldon, technical consultant writing for TechTarget’s SearchOracle. “One misstep and you can end up owing thousands of dollars in audit fees. Yet Oracle software, with its dazzling array of management packs and pre-installed options, is easy to misuse.”

This is the same technique used by SAP, but for indirect access. Both SAP and Oracle use confusion in order to charge more from customers than would ordinarily be possible. This can be viewed as the attorney approach to extraction.

“The challenge with Oracle software, in particular, is that product options and management packs are installed with the main products and enabled by default.” Once a customer has fallen into this trap, Oracle sends it a breach notice, and then sends in a team to conduct a software license audit. Bringing a customer into compliance, however, isn’t Oracle’s primary goal – selling them services they may not want or need is. “These days, to make the breach notice go away — or to reduce an outrageously high out-of-compliance fine — an Oracle sales rep often wants the customer to add cloud ‘credits’ to the contract,” Bort said.

Once again, it almost seems as if this is undifferentiated from SAP’s use of indirect access. Under indirect access, SAP brings what are phony claims in order to push companies into buying more SAP.

“Customers are buying cloud services to make the Oracle issue go away, not because they have any intention of using cloud services,” according to Craig Guarente, CEO of Palisade Compliance.

Why Is Oracle Used?

Oracle has several different businesses. They have hardware, applications and databases. But their core advantage lies in their database. However, the options for both the database itself as well as the hosting now put Oracle’s database in a weak value proposition. A case can be made for Oracle 11 and 12’s differentiation in the market, but the differentiation is for a narrow number of applications. If a reset button were hit, and companies were able to select any database they wanted, Oracle’s database dominance would change very quickly. This brings up the following quotation.

“For many of its existing customers, however, sticking with Oracle in spite of its anti-customer policies is preferable to switching to another vendor – not because Oracle’s products are necessarily any better, but because Oracle has done such a good job putting up roadblocks for any company considering such a move.” – Forbes

The Problem for Oracle for Oracle Cloud vs AWS

The problem with this for Oracle is that databases are really Oracle’s core strength.

Oracle used its database revenue to make an enormous number of acquisitions in applications.

However, none of those acquisitions were as differentiated as their database. As Oracle’s database decline continues, it reduces their power over their customers. And that leads to Oracle’s application sales also declining. Not immediately of course. Applications in the enterprise space have a stickiness. For example, DB-Engines shows Oracle declining in popularity over the long term, but a rapid decline.

The original purpose of making such acquisitions in the first place was, at least in part, to concentrate the account management and sales effort. Therefore, an Oracle rep would not only offer databases but applications as well. Enterprise accounts tend to like to concentrate their purchases from as few vendors as possible. That is rather than evaluate each offering on its own merits, IT pushes the business to make their lives as easy as possible and to manage fewer vendors.

Therefore, the thought goes that the more that any one rep can offer, the higher the ability to crossover sales for various products.

Historically, vendors that have made the most money, have used a strong capability in one area to sell more product in another area. This is how vendors grow from stronger offerings to progressively weaker offerings.

Conclusion

The trend in databases is clear — most of the growth is coming from open source databases versus proprietary databases. This will have a major impact on Oracle Cloud vs AWS. What this shows us is that the original promoters of open source are being proven correct.

  • The Relational Market: This is still dominated by Oracle in both its proprietary databases and in MySQL, is giving way to open source databases.
  • The Rise of AWS: The usage of AWS’s open source databases continues to grow rapidly. This is bad for Oracle Cloud vs AWS because AWS primarily offers open source databases on its PaaS. It exposes more customers to non-Oracle databases. And the more they do, the more customers will realize they often have Oracle databases that could be migrated to open source options.

These activities in the popularity of databases bode poorly for Oracle at least in the long term and is something that they will need to address with some strategy.

As a side note. It is important to look over long periods of time for database increases or decreases in popularity. If we look at the example of SQL Server, it has grown quite a bit over the past few quarters. However, has yet to recapture the popularity that it maintained back in 2013. This may indicate some change in policy, price change etc..

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of Oracle

There are two fundamental problems around Oracle. The first is the exaggeration of Oracle, which means that companies that purchased from Oracle end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the Oracle consulting companies simply repeat whatever Oracle says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by Oracle.

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About Oracle

We can provide feedback from multiple Oracle accounts that provide realistic information around a variety of Oracle products — and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like Oracle and all of the large Oracle consulting firms that parrot what Oracle says. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. Oracle and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how companies end up paying for items that are exorbitantly priced, exorbitantly expensive to implement and exorbitantly expensive to maintain.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

Search Our Oracle General Content

References

Ahmed Azmi is a Developer Advocate and Community Builder at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Center

https://d0.awsstatic.com/whitepapers/strategies-for-migrating-oracle-database-to-aws.pdf

https://www.reseller.co.nz/article/633023/why-oracle-cloud-bravado-masks-deep-database-despair/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-aws-bigger-threat-oracle-than-sap-microsoft-ahmed-azmi

– https://fortune.com/2015/07/10/oracle-sales-cloud-hard/

https://db-engines.com/en/ranking_definition

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2017/07/11/oracles-cloud-strategy-ruthless-or-byzantine/#5fae6e1662d9

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/oracle-prepares-for-war-with-amazon-adds-12-new-data-centers-for-cloud-business/

*https://www.dbms2.com/2015/12/31/oracle-as-the-new-ibm-has-a-long-decline-started/

Teaching Oracle About Hypocrisy on Lock In

Executive Summary

  • Oracle resources have the nerve to talk about the “lock-in” of cloud service providers like AWS.
  • The problem with trying to explain hypocrisy to Oracle resources.

Introduction

Oracle’s article titled Amazon and SAP Will Never Get Off the Oracle Database, and Why That’s Good News for Them, Matthew O’Keefe proposes that essentially these companies are locked into Oracle.

Companies Cannot Follow Through on Ditching Oracle?

“Periodically, companies like AWS and SAP that strategically compete with Oracle outside the database decide that they must remove Oracle’s technology from the technology stacks their customers routinely deploy. But after bold announcements are made and firm schedules set, the effort seems to drag on and on and never seems to run to completion. These huge firms with billion dollar R&D budgets seem to have incentives to replace Oracle, but can’t get it done. Why is that?”

Yes, the Oracle database has significant lock-in. But the assumption here is that it is because Oracle is so good. A substantial reason for the lock-in is because of the time making adjustments. This is why so few start-ups use the Oracle database.

Oracle’s Proposal on Lock-In

It is odd seeing Oracle crowing about companies not being able to migrate from the Oracle DB. Whether it is true or not.

Why is it odd?

Well because just recently, I was told by someone from Oracle that I needed to be careful not to discuss AWS without discussing lock-in. However, the only example they could come up with was Aurora, which is locked into AWS. However, all the other RDS DBs are portable. I told him that people from Oracle should not be critiquing other offers for having lock-in because a) the lock is usually is much lower than Oracle’s lock-in, and b) Oracle’s strategy is highly based around lock-in. I try to explain the concept of hypocrisy to Oracle resources, which turns out to be a very challenging task.

However, the article quoted above is once again Oracle promoting how great it is that their customers are locked in.

Conclusion

Can Oracle please take a firm position? Is lock-in a good thing or a bad thing? Because it seems like the official position is the following:

  1. Lock-in is good if Oracle does it…
  2. ..but far less lock-in is bad if the vendor that does it is not Oracle.
  3. But then if Oracle acquires that vendor, the lock-in automagically becomes a good thing again.

Does that all make sense?

Ok, good, because that is how Oracle resources tend to see the world. You have to see the world this way to work at Oracle. This means working for one of the top monopolist vendors in the world, but at the same time pretending that Oracle competes for business in a free market. It means working for a company with the worst record of punishing customers with punitive audits that no other vendor performs, but feeling good about that fact. It means saying stupid things like “HANA locks the database to the application” while knowing full well that all of Oracle’s applications mostly work on Oracle.

That is hypocrisy! It is now one of the most crucial exam questions at Oracle.

Only those with the highest level of hypocrisy are good fits for Oracle. You must be able to say (with a straight face) that..

“Hasso Plattner lies so much, it is great that Larry Ellison is so honest.”

If you can embrace you inner hypocrite, then Oracle is the right place to work.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

Search Our Oracle General Content

References

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/amazon-sap-never-get-off-oracle-database-why-thats-o-keefe-ph-d-/

Software Selection Book

SELECTION

Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Information Sources

Mastering Software Selection

Software selection is a form of forecasting, just as any another purchase decision is a forecast of how successfully the purchased item will meet expectations. Forecasting is necessary because it is not feasible to implement each application under consideration before it is purchased to see how it works in the business.

The Importance of Software Selection

Software selection is the most important part of any software implementation because it is the best opportunity to match the software with the business requirements, which is the most important factor in determining the success of the project. This book explains how to get the right information from the right sources to perform software selection correctly.

What You Can Expect from the Book

Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation. Software selection is the most important tasks in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software the software that matches the business requirements is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues, and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection.

This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that much like purchasing decisions for consumer products the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market. By reading this book you will:

  • Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
  • Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage.
  • Understand what motivates a software vendor.
  • Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to interpret information from consulting companies correctly.
  • Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
  • Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
  • Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
  • Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
  • Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
  • Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
  • Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
  • Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
  • Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
  • Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process
  • Chapter 8: Conclusion
  • Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection