Oracle's IoT play: Teach business apps and things to talk together

There's lots of things out there and Big Red wants to dig 'em out of silos and cloud 'em up

Recreation of a scene from Star Wars A New Hope: Droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping the Tantive IV while under Imperial attack. Figures are 6 inch Hasbro Black Series action figures
C3PO understands 6 million forms of communication. Oracle wants its vertical apps to get close

Oracle has revealed another way it thinks it can address the internet of things market, by teaching its existing business apps to talk things' language.

Big Red has a colossal portfolio of business apps, among them the Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud. The company also knows that the supply chain is full of “things” - telematics in cars, all manner of stuff in warehouses, factory machinery that spits out data - but that the data those things create rarely escape silos and therefore do not reach modern tools like cloud analytics.

Oracle's response is to teach its apps to talk “thing” and to partner with the organisations that make the things in the supply chain to build gateways to send thing chatter into the Big Red Cloud. Up there, Oracle has built cloud services that collect data from things and presents it in ways that it feels will satisfy business decision makers. Hence the release of a new Asset Monitoring Cloud. Connected Worker Cloud, Fleet Monitoring Cloud and Production Monitoring Cloud.

Bhagat Nainani, Big Red's group veep for IoT applications, says Oracle has taken this approach because the reality of IoT adoption is that organisations don't know where to start and that in fields like supply chain there are brownfields waiting to be fertilised.

The four new apps mentioned are niche additions to the overall Supply Chain Management Cloud, which itself links to Oracle's IoT cloud.

Nainani thinks that starting with apps gives Oracle an interesting proposition. Other clouds also have big data and IoT-specific ingestion and analytics services. By integrating its own version of those services in the service of specific industry challenges will, Nainani reckons Oracle will offer an easier on-ramp to the IoT for those who get the bug.

The Register understands Oracle has more industry niche IoT plays in the works. Microsoft can match those to some degree as its Dynamics suite is no slouch. Both also have broad and deep channels to advocate their wares. And runaway cloud leader Amazon? Not so much, perhaps. ®


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