[SAN FRANCISCO] Oracle Corp unveiled new services that help customers take advantage of cloud computing as the company takes more direct aim at rival Amazon.com Inc.
The company announced "Cloud@Customer", which takes the latest gear from its own data centres and puts that hardware on customer data centres, Executive Chairman Larry Ellison said Sunday during a presentation at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.
Customers won't need to buy the technology - and can instead subscribe to the service on a monthly basis, just like they would do if they were buying from a distant data centre. He also announced what he said were more powerful products at a lower cost than Amazon, the leading public cloud provider and the company's No 1 competitor in infrastructure.
"Amazon's lead is over," Mr Ellison said during the presentation. "Amazon's going to have serious competition." Oracle is stepping up efforts in cloud-based technology as it rolls out new products and acquires other companies to cater to the increasing number of customers that prefer to buy computing, networking and storage capabilities via networks from large providers.
Amazon, which helped pioneer the public cloud, has grabbed the attention of startups and corporations around the world, an effort that's also put it in competition with Microsoft Corp and Google.
The new "Cloud@Customer" will be managed by Oracle. It will be an alternative to moving everything to the cloud right away or keeping everything in-house, Mr Ellison said.
"We'll put that part of the Oracle cloud behind your firewall, where it's more protected and adheres to certain statutory requirements," he said. "The Cloud@Customer machines are identical."
During Mr Ellison's presentation, which stretched for more than an hour, he unveiled several new services that touched on areas including databases, the cloud and programming methods. It even included a demonstration for a new "ChatBot" platform that integrates with Facebook's Messenger application.
Oracle also said earlier Sunday that it was acquiring startup Palerra, helping enhance security and identity capabilities for cloud applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Palerra offers a unique combination of visibility into cloud usage, data security, user behaviour analytics, and security configuration, with automated incident responses," the company said on its website.
"Customers can respond to cloud security incidents in real-time, protecting sensitive company data and workloads across all of the leading cloud services."
During the presentation, Mr Ellison also talked up the importance of artificial intelligence, including machine-learning, as Oracle rolls out tools that leverage the technology. He said his customers benefit from the massive database built up over the years - comparing it to Facebook Inc's trove of user information.
Oracle also unveiled its strategy for key cloud offerings - - including finance and human resources - that blend third-party data with real-time analytics and behavioural inputs to create applications that adapt and learn.
The result is applications that automatically offer individualised recommended actions, it said in an e-mailed statement.