Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas centered on embracing the changes AI will bring, as well as new multi-cloud options, Vector AI Search and a focus on helping Oracle users employ new technologies.
Oracle Founder and CTO Larry Ellison's keynote focused on the new era of AI and how it will be transformative -- not unlike past global innovations, including one that created the foundation for Oracle itself.
Ellison painted a bright picture of advancements in healthcare that are accelerating with generative AI (GenAI). The fear of lost jobs is replaced by faster innovations, leading to growing companies and more job opportunities. CEO Safra Catz added that AI will enable Oracle customers to solve problems and gain profitability by controlling cloud costs, using technology that drives innovation.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi shared his experience with Oracle as a partner as Uber grows profitability. He shared that Uber Eats has become as big as Uber rides, and the focus is now on Go-Get, a service that promises to bring passengers wherever they need to go, whenever, and to bring items to their customers. They have integrated with Oracle's retail and payment systems to provide retailers with same-day delivery -- a true game changer for local retailers competing against big online retailers, such as Amazon.
Oracle's GenAI plans
Oracle's goal is to have embedded GenAI in all products with plans to initially offer 50 use cases developed by Oracle, followed by many more driven by customers over time.
The company's approach to GenAI is very controlled and measured. The large language models were created to protect customer data and personally identifiable information by keeping this data strictly separated from the LLM.
The second guardrail Oracle imposes is that all recommendations from GenAI are presented to the operator for approval before implementation. This step ensures full awareness and acknowledgment by the operator. Given the concern about AI's learning abilities and potential quality or biases of data in models, this is a prudent approach. Over the next year, we should see GenAI embedded throughout Oracle with LLMs made available to customers.
AI Vector Search is also another exciting capability being integrated into Oracle Database 23c. AI Vector Search is designed to organize data based on similarities. It does this by converting raw data, such as images, text, video or audio, into mathematical representations known as high-dimensional vectors. Each vector can contain tens to thousands of dimensions, depending on the complexity of the raw data.
Vector search excels at quickly identifying similar items. It has many applications today, such as suggesting similar products in online stores, finding similar images online or recommending similar videos on streaming sites. Specific uses include the ability to identify similar genetic sequences in biology, detect fraud in the finance industry or analyze sensor data from IoT-enabled devices. With AI and GenAI becoming widespread, vector search has become a crucial function to augment GenAI.
Oracle databases with Microsoft Azure
The new Oracle Database@Azure gives customers direct access to Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) deployed in Microsoft Azure data centers. Oracle Database@Azure delivers all the performance, scale and workload availability of Oracle Database on OCI with the security, flexibility and services of Microsoft Azure, including Azure OpenAI Service. This multi-cloud combination gives customers more flexibility regarding where they run their workloads. It also provides an environment that simplifies cloud purchasing and management between Oracle Database and Azure services.
This multi-cloud partnership gives organizations another way to migrate mission-critical applications to the cloud. It represents a big move for Oracle as it pushes toward more multi-cloud capabilities to support the needs of its customers.
In Enterprise Strategy Group's report, "Data Platforms: The Path to Achieving Data-driven Empowerment," 87% of respondents indicated that they use multiple clouds for their data management strategy. We also found that 50% are building modern data platforms to empower faster business decision-making, 19% to build competitive advantages and 16% to empower more employee engagement.
Oracle's expansion into multi-cloud with Microsoft Azure aligns with our research, addressing the market's need for more cloud flexibility.
The key takeaways from Oracle CloudWorld are the company's plans for GenAI, the addition of Vector AI Search capabilities and the Oracle Database@Azure partnership with Microsoft. Each of these announcements deliver more capabilities to any organization focused on building end-to-end data platforms and data intelligence within their organizations.
Senior Analyst Stephen Catanzano covers data platforms at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.