How Oracle is taking AI and machine learning to cloud and security
- 06 October, 2017 06:00
Larry Ellison - Chairman and CTO, Oracle
Oracle has announced the development of a new AI Platform Cloud Service, designed to enable developers to quickly create and deploy enterprise services with AI features built in.
"Oracle is in a unique position to deliver AI across all layers of the cloud, empowering customers to uncover and unlock critical business patterns in their enterprise data to transform organisational productivity, efficiency and insight," said Amit Zavery senior vice president of product development, Oracle Cloud, speaking at a discussion panel at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.
The software giant also used this as an opportunity to embed ready-to-use AI and machine learning capabilities across its software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and IoT services via what it calls Adaptive Intelligent Apps.
These new features are available immediately within Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud, Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud, Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud, and the new Oracle Customer Experience Cloud.
Furthermore, Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd also emphasised this point during a Q&A session, in which he mentioned that embedded AI capabilities are able to improve efficiency across an enterprise.
Although Oracle has come out with these new AI services and features, the vendor has strategically made it less about AI as a solution and more about applying it into applications.
That may explain why it doesn't have a name, like Salesforce's snappily branded Einstein capabilities. Oracle just refers to it as 'AI Platform Cloud Service.'
Whatever they can do, Oracle can do better (so they say)
According to the vendor, the new AI service enables customers to adopt advance machine learning to transform their business processes.
This encompasses cognitive AI, analytics, data services, IT management and security operations use cases.
For example: "AI integrated into HR applications, AI integrated into sales applications. Integrating AI directly into those applications is a tremendous competitor advantage," Hurd said.
Hurd expanded on his point during a Q&A session, saying: "Silicon Valley is an incredible place, with an incredible amount of innovation but historically the way the enterprise business has evolved is that the innovation of companies has come in pieces.
"I innovate on a server, I innovate on an operating system, I innovate on a database All of these things actually come from separate companies."
So as Hurd explains it, rather than following the process of Silicon Valley businesses, Oracle is looking to develop simpler, more integrated and more capable systems for customers.
Oracle's Cloud AI Platform is available now for customers to deploy on a subscription basis or on-premises using Oracle Cloud at Customer.
In addition, the vendor has now launched AI-powered apps across various disciplines, including finance, HR and supply chain.
Oracle's aim in delivering these AI apps is to enable business users to adopt AI within their current tools, rather than having to shift data into a separate AI solution.
The company also delivered chatbot capabilities to its Oracle Mobile Cloud platform. With this, customers are given the ability to create customer-facing bots.
Oracle adds machine learning to cyber security defence
Following a week of announcements, Oracle also launched its new, highly autonomous database, but the vendor didn't leave it there. Two days on, Oracle revealed the development of a supporting, highly-automated cyber defence service.
This service has been designed to work together with the autonomous Oracle 18c database to help mitigate costly cyber-attacks and data theft.
As described by Larry Ellison, Oracle's CTO, during a keynote presentation, it's "our people versus their computers".
Ellison spoke about the increasing rate of data that is stolen yearly from cyber-attacks, highlighting that as hackers get smarter, more automation is required to tackle the threats.
According to Ellison: "Automated security does a better job than manual security and costs less. More automation equals higher security, but you have to be willing to pay less."
Therefore, Oracle has been busy designing this highly automated defence system."We need a cyber defence system that automatically detects vulnerabilities, fixes vulnerabilities before an attack and if there is an attack, detect it and shut it down," said Ellison.
Unlike the autonomous database, the cyber defence service is not fully autonomous just yet, but what Ellison did make clear during the keynote is that both services use machine learning to operate.
"Machine learning is the newest and most important technology to show up in a long time. The applications for machine learning are as important as anything that's happening in the world today," said Ellison.
The inclusion of machine learning enables the software to distinguish between normal behaviour from abnormal behaviour, and alert customers accordingly.
Cyber Security is more serious than we think
Ellison said that most line of business IT still don't take cyber security as seriously as they should, making it clear that businesses should consider restructuring their cyber defence strategies.
"The people who are focused on security take it very seriously. The people who have other jobs in the data centre are trying to get their jobs done," added Ellison.
This is where Oracle's management and security cloud system comes in. Oracle is looking to create what it calls "the industry's first cloud-native, intelligent security and management suite".
According to Oracle, this suite is expected to enable enterprises to reduce, detect and resolve cybersecurity threats, and with the integration of machine learning, businesses are able to tackle security breaches more quickly.
"It was built to run in the Oracle cloud and also manages all your Amazon assets and your on-premise systems," added Ellison.
(Reporting by Hannah Williams - Computerworld)