Company continues to shift resources to its cloud computing business
Oracle reportedly is laying off as many as 300 employees associated with its flash storage business as it focuses more of its efforts on the cloud. The job cuts come just months after the enterprise software giant reportedly let go of hundreds of employees, including software developers.
The Lowdown: The news site Blocks & Files, citing unnamed sources, reported that employees were informed about the layoffs late last week in a conference call with Mike Workman, senior vice president of flash storage systems at Oracle.
The Details: Oracle was famously late to the cloud game, with founder and CTO Larry Ellison and other company officials several years ago passing off cloud computing as little more than a passing fad. Oracle, however, is now furiously working to grow its cloud business and capabilities in hopes of catching up with market leaders like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform and is shifting money and resources to support that effort.
Those resources include people, and the layoffs within the flash storage system business represent the latest step in that direction. The focus on the cloud, SaaS, and recurring revenue means less of a need for on-premises hardware, making those within the flash storage systems business expendable. In May, software developers took the brunt of the job cuts, with estimates of layoffs ranging from 500 to more than 1,000.
In an increasingly multicloud world where Oracle applications can also run on AWS and Azure, Oracle is offering programs designed to encourage customers to run their Oracle applications on Oracle Cloud. A survey by Oracle and AWS partner App Associates in the spring noted that 58% of IT executives surveyed were concerned that moving their Oracle applications to another cloud provider could invalidate their Oracle software licenses. A partnership with Microsoft announced in June enables enterprises using cloud applications from one company to run them on the other’s cloud environment.
The Impact: At a time when organizations are using multiple and hybrid cloud platforms, MSPs, systems integrators, and other partners continuously have to gauge which cloud is best for which of their customer workloads. Oracle wants them to choose its own cloud, though Synergy Research Group describes the company as a niche player well behind the market leaders.
Background: Pillar Data was founded by Workman in 2001 and funded by Ellison, who at the time was Oracle’s CEO. After Oracle acquired Pillar Data 10 years later, it become part of Oracle’s Flash Storage division and a reworked Pillar Axiom array was included in Oracle’s FS1 flash storage offering.
The Buzz: “As our cloud business grows, we will continually balance our resources and restructure our development group to help ensure we have the right people delivering the best cloud products to our customers around the world,” an Oracle spokeswoman said in a statement to the media.
“Today, Larry’s band of storage misfits, aka Pillar Data, was quietly let go and the product discontinued,” a middle-ranking (and unnamed) Oracle employee told Block & Files. “A small number of people were kept [on to] take the product to the grave.”