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Ellison and Benioff: The odd couple reveal all

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28th Jun 2013
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A week ago it would have been unthinkable. Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff not only on the same conference call together, but playing nice with one another. 

No 'roach motel' insults from Ellison. No 'beware the false Cloud' warnings from Benioff. 

Just...well, nice stuff about one another. 

"I couldn't be more thrilled to make this announcement with you today, Larry," began Benioff.

"By Larry and I coming together, a door has opened that lets us go through into the future, and we're not going to be held back by how the industry was."

Ellison was slightly less effusive perhaps, but as keen to please. "Salesforce.com has always been an important customer, but this is not about that," he said. "It's about the partnership with Salesforce.com, making our products work better together. Salesforce.com is a big company now. Customers expect us to work together professionally toward the benefit of those customers.

"Virtually every time we buy a company, they are running Salesforce.com's CRM," he added. "In the old days, we would slide them onto our Fusion salesforce app right away. Now, we'll leave some of those companies on Salesforce.com."

Benioff was keen to praise the Oracle database technology to which he's now committed Salesforce.com for the next 12 years. 

"You know, Larry, the Oracle database has been a key part of Salesforce 's infrastructure from the very beginning of our company 14 years ago," he noted. "Absolutely the best decision we ever made was to go with Oracle. 

"Now we're at a critical point in Salesforce.com's history. We have to make a decision. Is the infrastructure we've built on Oracle going to take us through the next one or two decades? The answer is yes.

"And now that (Oracle has) focused on the Cloud, (Oracle has) made a number of improvements to the database technologies that are extremely important to us and we are delighted now to commit to this incredible partnership to another 12 years of using the Oracle database."

But what about all those slanging matches and accusations - you can't just paper over the cracks of a shattered relationship so easily surely? 

"This is a new world, this is a new time," said Benioff. "We're in the third wave of computing and companies like Salesforce and Oracle working together are evidence that that's how it has to be in this new world because the value that can get creative is just going to be epic."
Ellison again wasn't quite as heavy on the rhetoric. "I'm looking forward to working with Marc and Salesforce for years to come, to tap on some of these exciting challenges and help the future arrived a little bit sooner than it otherwise would," he said politely. 

And for anyone thinking that the industry might a tad duller without the bickering and the feuding, fear not. 

"I certainly hope it's not the end of the fun. We've always enjoyed working together and having fun with each other. Hopefully it will be the end to us getting a little too revved up at times," said Benioff while Ellison added: "I'm sure both Marc and I are going to try to continue to be entertaining, while making sure the entertainment never distracts from our commitment to work together."
A fine bromance indeed... 
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