How AWS and Microsoft are Battling for Oracle’s Customers

By Gregg Spivack

Director of Client Services, NPI

June 16, 2016

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Microsoft and Amazon Web Services are doubling down on their efforts to unseat Oracle in the enterprise – and things are getting pretty heated. Microsoft recently announced its SQL Server database product is coming to Linux in 2017, a move that makes it easier for Oracle customers to switch to Microsoft. About 25 percent of the Fortune 500 have already signed up to try the preview. Microsoft is sweetening the pot by letting interested Oracle customers “receive the necessary licenses of SQL Server” for free (except for SA).

Then there’s AWS. With the launch of its new AWS Database Migration Service, it promises to easily move Oracle’s customers to AWS’s database in the cloud. It seems to be working; it moved more than 1,000 databases in the beta phase.

In typical Oracle fashion, the vendor isn’t shying away from the fight especially as it relates to growing its cloud business. Earlier this month, the company introduced the Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience to help customers simplify and expedite the cloud purchasing process. The new purchasing experience will offer greater contract flexibility, fewer required approvals, less cumbersome documentation and purchasing support. It will also leverage Oracle’s Sales, Service and Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) Clouds to speed up order completion.

If you’re an Oracle customer, these developments should put you on high alert – especially if you are considering a new purchase or have a renewal in the near future. Oracle is going all out to protect and grow cloud revenues, which could net greater flexibility from the vendor’s sales teams. And a more streamlined cloud buying process from Oracle only strengthens the case for more simplified buying and licensing/subscription from other enterprise vendors (more on that in another post).

Unfortunately, these conditions also make it an opportune time for a licensing audit. Oracle is estimated to audit between 17,000 and 21,000 customers this year.

So, what does that mean for Oracle customers?

For those wanting to jump the Oracle ship, now is a good time to court Microsoft or AWS and leverage their ambition to unseat Oracle. Oracle loyalists also have leverage as the company is doing all it can to grow cloud revenues. This could mean better pricing and terms for both cloud and on-premise purchases.

Regardless of your purchasing plans, have your Oracle licensing “house” in order. Conducting a self-audit to identify potential areas of non-compliance will give you the runway required to fix the situation before Oracle deploys its audit tools and tactics (which are designed not to work in your favor!).