Oracle Corp.’s Larry Ellison said new features in its database service will help the software company go after Amazon.com Inc. in its expanding cloud-computing business.
During his big annual keynote in San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 1, the executive chairman said the new database has been overhauled with artificial intelligence, improving on speed, efficiency and pricing to help it outperform Amazon. To make his point, he showed head-to-head tests on stage, including real-time examples, during the Oracle OpenWorld event. He ended his talk by pointing out the rival’s use of his own database.
“They are one of the biggest users on the planet earth,” Ellison said.
Oracle, based in Redwood City, Calif., is locked in an increasingly aggressive battle with Amazon over cloud products, an area the e-commerce company helped pioneer. Customers around the world are adopting the new type of service that lets them easily access computing power and software without having to build and install the technology on their own sites.
For Oracle, sales tied to the new cloud technologies rose more than 50% in the previous fiscal quarter—and made up 16% of overall revenue in the period, the company said last month. Ellison said the new database’s use of machine learning is a big step for the industry, adding the ability to automate tasks and improvements to security.
“This is a dramatic and revolutionary new technology,” Ellison said. “There aren’t that many revolutionary new technologies but this one is.”
Oracle announced at OpenWorld this week several enhancements related to artificial intelligence in its cloud-based software products. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a term used to describe software that learns from the data it compiles to improve on its own such functions as recommending products or sources of products.
The new AI features, broken out for groups of business users, include:
- Commerce professionals: New AI-powered capabilities enable commerce professionals to improve productivity and business results by operating across multiple sites and channels that blend commerce, marketing, and chatbot capabilities. Natural language and deep learning capabilities provide unique features, such as dynamic tags and category pages that personalize search suggestions and blend search results with real-time offers to enable friction-free search. In addition, machine-learning capabilities deliver the best product, promotion, and content recommendations.
- Sales professionals: New AI-powered capabilities utilize business data to empower sales professionals with accurate next-step recommendations to close deals and optimize sales offers. The new capabilities also prompt themwith smart call points by pulling data from live news and event feeds to surface and prioritize key insights. These powerful insights empower sales teams with up-to-the-minute information about accounts so they are always prepared before making contact.
- Supply chain professionals: New AI-powered capabilities enable organizations to rethink traditional supply chain systems to make them dynamic, efficient, intelligent, and autonomous. The capabilities in Oracle’s Supply Chain IoT, or internet-of-things, applications allow supply chain professionals to manage and leverage insights from big data sources, such as connected equipment. The applications use predictive analytics and machine learning techniques to detect and analyze key signals in device data, and then to act on these insights through their associated business functions and connected processes. Whether this is predicting and preventing machine failure before it happens, auto-discovering optimal ways to segment planning data, or auto-tuning planning engines, AI-powered capabilities can transform the way supply chain professionals lead and manage the supply chain.
- Manufacturing professionals: New AI-powered capabilities enable organizations to meet production goals by enhancing the management of discrete and process manufacturing operations. The new capabilities drive factory and shop floor improvements by demonstrating how incident detection, root cause analysis, and smart resolution are performed within minutes in a connected factory.
- Customer service professionals: New AI-powered capabilities empower customer service professionals to streamline processes and enhance the customer experience by utilizing consumer data and relevant news alerts. In addition to optimizing process around frequently asked questions, the new AI capabilities help reduce the time between request and resolution across thousands of potential questions and associated answers by leveraging deep learning technologies. This streamlines processes for customer service representatives who handle service requests by providing automated responses based on previous learnings.
- Marketing professionals: New AI-powered capabilities empower marketers with the insights needed to better understand their target audiences and optimize offers by utilizing consumer and business data. By looking across different marketing campaigns to gauge individual, group and program response rates, the new capabilities enable marketers to identify how audiences are interacting with content and the optimal pathways for future communication. This enables marketers to optimize campaign execution and results.
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