Oracle CloudWorld 2023: 6 key takeaways from the big annual event

In line with Oracle co-founder CTO Larry Ellison’s notion that generative AI is one of the most important technological innovations ever, the company at its annual CloudWorld conference released a range of products and updates centered around the next generation of artificial intelligence.

The last few months have witnessed rival technology vendors, such as AWS, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and IBM, adopting a similar strategy, under which each of them integrated generative AI into their offerings or released new offerings to support generative AI use cases.

Oracle, which posted its first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2024 last week, has been betting heavily on high demand from enterprises, driven by generative AI related workloads, to boost revenue in upcoming quarters as enterprises look to adopt the technology for productivity and efficiency.

In order to cater to this demand, the company has introduced products based on  its three-tier generative AI strategy. Here are some key takeaways:

Oracle has taken the covers off its new API-led generative AI service, which is a managed service that will allow enterprises to integrate large language model (LLM) interfaces in their applications via an API. The API-led service is also designed in a manner that allows enterprises to refine Cohere’s LLMs using their own data to enable more accurate results via a process dubbed Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG).

It has also updated several AI-based offerings, including the Oracle Digital Assistant, OCI Language Healthcare NLP, OCI Language Document Translation, OCI Vision, OCI Speech, and OCI Data Science.

Oracle is updating its Database 23c offering with a bundle of features dubbed AI Vector Search. These features and capabilities include a new vector data type, vector indexes, and vector search SQL operators that enable the Oracle Database to store the semantic content of documents, images, and other unstructured data as vectors, and use these to run fast similarity queries.

The addition of vector search capabilities to Database 23c will allow enterprises to add an LLM-based natural language interface inside applications built on the Oracle Database and its Autonomous Database.

Other updates to Oracle’s database offerings include the general availability of Database 23c, the next generation of Exadata Exascale, and updates to its Autonomous Database service and GoldenGate 23c.

In order to allow enterprises to operate its data analytics cloud service, dubbed MySQL HeatWave, the company has added a new Vector Store along with some generative AI features.

The new Vector Store, which is also in private preview, can ingest documents in a variety of formats and store them as embeddings generated via an encoder model in order to process queries faster, the company said, adding that the generative AI features added include a large language model-driven interface that allows enterprise users to interact with different aspects of the service — including searching for different files — in natural language.

Other updates to the service include updates to AutoML and MySQL Autopilot components within the service along with support for JavaScript and a bulk ingest feature.

Nearly all of Oracle’s Fusion Cloud suites — including Cloud Customer Experience (CX), Human Capital Management (HCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) — have been updated with the company’s Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) generative AI service.

For healthcare providers, Oracle will offer a version of its generative AI-powered assistant, which is based on OCI generative AI service, called Oracle Clinical Digital Assistant.

Oracle has updated several applications within its various Fusion Cloud suites in order to align them toward supporting use cases for its healthcare enterprise customers. These updates, which include changes to multiple applications within ERP, HCM, EPM, and SCM Fusion Clouds, are expected to help healthcare enterprises unify operations and improve patient care.

Other updates including distributed cloud offerings

Oracle also continued to expand its distributed cloud offerings, including Oracle Database@Azure and MySQL HeatWave Lakehouse on AWS.

As part of Database@Azure, the company is collocating its Oracle database hardware (including Oracle Exadata) and software in Microsoft Azure data centers, giving customers direct access to Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) via Azure.

Oracle Alloy, which serves as a cloud infrastructure platform for service providers, integrators, ISVs, and others who want to roll out their own cloud services to customers, has also been made generally available.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.


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