So Alex Williams (a great guy, good friend and awesome cloud pundit) wrote a post a week or two ago entitled “Why The Open Cloud Wins And Oracle Loses When IT Gets Virtualized.” (subtle huh?)
Oracle wasn’t overly happy at Alex’s comments and counter posted saying that “TechCrunch is Clueless about Oracle Cloud.”
So… some thoughts on all of this;
- Even if Alex was an idiot (and he’s not) without a clue, this was bad. It’s bad form for a vendor to launch ad hominen attacks on a journalist or blogger. This is something I have battled against and it does vendors no favors to get all defensive on it.
- If a well-regarded commentator doesn’t “get” your product offering, chances are it’s your fault and not theirs. In my experience oracle as an organization that is incredibly hard to engage with, I’ve posted about this fact previously. As commentators we may be a complete PITA and maybe even prima donnas, but we’re important and not engaging is stupid. And damaging. And ultimately entirely contrary to your best interests
So, was Alex right? Or was Oracle right?
Well, talking in the back channels with other commentators, there is a pretty overwhelming feeling that oracle bought this on themselves simply because they seem incapable of engaging with us and giving us the visibility to be able to comment effectively on their strategy. True Oracle is known for its… ahem, aggressive ways of doing business and hence it’s not hard to imagine that they’ll continue to focus on lock down, closed, proprietary and not playing nicely with the outside world.
Really I don’t care so much if Oracle is screwed or if they’re going to set the world on fire. I’d simply ask them that if they want to be a part of a conversation, and have the broader commentator community take their story seriously, they’d be better building a model that sees them engage with us all. As a friend said to me via DM;
oracle a bunch of f’wads. could’ve engaged & become part of community vs alienate it..
But all might not be lost. After tweeting about the situation, Bob Evans, Oracle’s SVP of communications pinged me with a message inviting me to get more engaged. Who knows, maybe in 12 months time I’ll have as good an understanding and involvement with oracle as I do with NetSuite or Salesforce – we’ll see….
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog - SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)