Marc Benioff of salesforce.com and Larry Ellison of Oracle either have the most schizophrenic relationships or are amusing themselves at our expense.
Benioff used to work for Oracle before branching out on his own with a lot of financing from Ellison. In fact, Ellison used to sit on the board of directors of salesforce.com. Later, and despite being an investor, Ellison publicly stated that he wished his salesforce.com investment would collapse so badly that it would be reduced to zero. Both companies sell SAAS CRM of course. More recently, Benioff admitted to periodic conversations with Ellison. Salesforce.com runs on Oracle database. So, what is the truth?
I was reminded of all this as I just saw an advertisement for Oracle’s annual convention, OpenWorld. Once again, the competition in the form of salesforce.com is a sponsor. Funny, since salesforce.com’s slogan is “no software.”
Are these guys amusing themselves at our expense? Is it all a little silly to begin with? After all, the only thing that matters is the benefits these firms’ respective applications bring its users.
Update: In October 2011 Oracle cancelled Benioff’s Keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld. Benioff claimed surprise at the last minute cancellation.