Zoom cloud infrastructure win ‘huge validation’ for Oracle

‘This is a marquee win for Oracle – the company probably had to be aggressive in giving discounts to win this.’
29 April 2020

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison attends the Rebels With A Cause Gala 2019 at Lawrence J Ellison Institute. Source: AFP

  • Zoom has chosen Oracle to provide its cloud infrastructure as its usage spikes
  • It’s a big win for Oracle against cloud giants like AWS and Azure

Despite some serious setbacks in regard to its privacy (although no publicity is bad publicity?), videoconferencing platform Zoom has soared in usage in the last few months. 

According to app tracking firm Apptopia, Zoom was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world on March 23 alone – the day after the lockdown was announced in the UK – up from 56,000 a day two months earlier. 

The upsurge in demand by organizations wanting to keep in comms is such that Zoom founder Eric Yuan’s net worth has increased by US$2 billion in 2020.

But as demand surges, Zoom has quickly had to scale up its service to support its massive spike in users, and it has chosen Oracle as its cloud infrastructure provider to help it do so.

Within hours of deployment, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supported “hundreds of thousands of concurrent Zoom meeting participants,” the company said. 

“Within hours of deployment, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supported hundreds of thousands of concurrent Zoom meeting participants,” said Oracle, adding that its service would help the platform to deliver “flawless service to its customer base, adapt to changing demands, and lead the video communications industry.”

Commenting on the announcement, Zoom’s CEO said: “We recently experienced the most significant growth our business has ever seen, requiring massive increases in our service capacity.

“We explored multiple platforms, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was instrumental in helping us quickly scale our capacity and meet the needs of our new users.”

The partnership announcement comes after Oracle’s CTO and executive chairman, Larry Ellison, praised Zoom as “an essential service for Oracle”, enabling it to continue engineering, customer support, and sales, “even though we’re still working from home.”

Eillson also said the shift to videoconferencing will continue after the current coronavirus crisis subsides, endorsing the video platform as a tool which will facilitate the next wave in how we work; people “meet sometimes face to face, and sometimes digitally via Zoom,” Ellison said. 

While terms of the deal haven’t been announced, winning a deal with Zoom is a big prize for the Californian computer software firm. 

However, kicking off a relationship with Oracle – an enterprise software firm – may be more familiar ground for Zoom’s founder. Yuan worked at American multinational technology conglomerate Cisco as one of the founding engineers of videoconferencing and collaboration tool WebEx, where he cut his teeth on the intricacies of building market-leading communications software.  

But that doesn’t detract from the win for Oracle in a hugely competitive space: “This is a marquee win for Oracle,” CEO of cloud hosting solutions provider Atlantic.Net, Marty Puranik, told TechHQ. “The company probably had to be aggressive in giving discounts to win this.”

The move is a “huge” one for Oracle and could push it up some rungs on the global cloud leaderboard, right when Oracle is vastly ramping up its data center capacity, as well as actively touting its cybersecurity potential. 

It’s also a “ding” for the likes of Microsoft and Amazon, said Puranik.

Amazon, for one, stopped using Oracle databases internally several months ago, while its cloud arm is now making a big push to get customers to move off of Oracle themselves, and over to AWS’s own database Aurora. 

“Oracle reps can now point to Zoom and say ‘if Zoom opted to look at using Oracle when they were already using Microsoft and AWS, maybe you should too,’” said Puranik. “The question is, can Oracle build on this and build cause for Oracle to be a legitimate choice for IT decision makers beyond customers who already use Oracle databases?”

It also gives Oracle some skin in the booming collaboration tool game. While Microsoft has Teams, Cisco has WebEx, and Google has its own chat application, Oracle doesn’t have a product that competes. 

“This is a huge move, from a validation point of view, since Zoom is the first hot company to be using Oracle cloud,” said Puranik.