Analysts Expect Oracle to Release PaaS Platform This Week

Rumors are swirling about Oracle‘s potential plans to release a platform-as-a-service offering at this week’s annual Oracle OpenWorld conference, ComputerWorld UK wrote.

It would be a risky, but logical move, according to analysts surveyed by the site. Enterprises are demanding hosted services and the company could generate more revenue by dealing directly with customers.

The flip side is Oracle currently sells products that improve companies’ PaaS offerings. These customers would become competitors if Oracle released its own platform, which could negatively affect that end of its business model.

Microsoft is one of the few major industry organizations that currently offers a PaaS platform, named Azure. Vendors’ chief information officers “feel there’s too much risk” using the PaaS products offered by smaller companies, said Yefim Natis, a Gartner vice president, so an Oracle offering could be very well received in the marketplace.

And the company might not be able to seize such market presence for long. Natis expects all the major enterprise software companies, including IBM, to have detailed or launched cloud strategies by the end of 2012.  

“By that time, when all these guys to whom mainstream IT organizations listen endorse this model, then the mainstream will start moving in that direction,” he said.

Large vendors have stayed on the sidelines due to the difficulty of developing a pricing and business model for the virtualized computing realm. It took three years for Microsoft to develop business and pricing models that work in theory, according to John Rymer, an analyst at Forrester.

But, in the long term, companies will find that getting on the cloud will be a necessary risk.  “People aren’t shipping disks any more,” said George Hamilton, an analyst with Yankee Group.

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