Ellison and Benioff bury the hatchet and make nice

Oracle and Salesforce.com have signed a 12-year deal to work together

By , IDG News Service |  Software

The "out-of-the-box" integrations planned will help customers who use Salesforce.com and Oracle software save money compared to the customized implementation projects that have been required in the past, Ellison said. He also characterized Salesforce.com's CRM (customer relationship management) software as "market-leading," in contrast to his labeling it in the past as an "itty-bitty application for salesforce automation."

Oracle has acquired companies that use Salesforce.com and plans to leave some of those implementations in place in order to act as an "early adopter" for the planned integration, Ellison said.

Left unanswered was when these packaged integrations will be available, as well as what the companies' new working relationship will mean for the positioning of Oracle's own CRM products. In the past, Ellison has said many Salesforce.com customers "chucked" out the software in favor of Oracle's CRM, but he offered no competitive updates on Thursday.

The Salesforce.com deal comes the same week Oracle announced a partnership with Microsoft that will see Oracle technology, including the Java programming language, play a more prominent role in Microsoft's Azure cloud service. Ellison and Benioff indicated that their companies will seek to work on Java-related projects, but made no specific announcements.

Meanwhile, Salesforce.com will purchase 50 Exadata systems as part of the deal, Benioff said in a Twitter message on Thursday.

Oracle customers are using Exadata and Exalogic machines to develop on-premises private cloud infrastructures.

Benioff declined to say whether Salesforce.com could one day offer an on-premises version of Salesforce.com in much the same manner, but left open the possibility.

"Today we're a fully multitenant shared architecture," he said. "We don't have a huge demand point from customers asking us to drop-ship hardware into their data centers. I don't see that as something customers are asking us for. If that changed, we're going to do what the customers want."

To that end, some customers and industry observers may be hoping Ellison and Benioff still trade a few public barbs now and again.

"I certainly hope it's not the end of the fun," Benioff said. "We've always enjoyed working together and having fun with each other. Hopefully it will be the end to us getting a little too revved up at times."

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