Amazon's cloud chief takes another swipe at Oracle: 'They're a long way away'

Key Points
  • Andy Jassy told CNBC that businesses simply can't learn lessons unless they get big enough.
  • Jassy said Amazon Web Services now has more than 100 services for customers.
Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy in an interview with CNBC's Jon Fortt at the 2017 AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.
Source: CNBC

At Oracle's annual OpenWorld megaconference last month, top executives from the old enterprise software company were smack-talking Amazon's cloud business. They claimed a workload on Amazon could be nearly six times more expensive than on Oracle's cloud.

CEO Mark Hurd went so far as to say his company was poised to win the cloud wars "bar none."

It was the latest chapter in what's become a war of words between a pair of unlikely adversaries. Who would've thought five years ago that a massive developer of databases and business software would be going head-to-head with an e-commerce giant?

Now it's Amazon's turn, again. Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, delivers his keynote address Wednesday morning at the re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

Before taking the stage, Jassy told CNBC that Oracle was still far behind in the cloud.

"I think they're a long way away in the cloud," Jassy said.

'More functionality'

According to Jassy, AWS has more than 100 services for customers. He was just getting started.

"If you look at the array of services that the respective companies have, there's really not much of a comparison," Jassy said. "AWS has a lot more functionality, by a large amount. We have a much larger partner ecosystem."

Oracle is just one of the companies trying to catch AWS, and there are several that have made more headway, including Google, IBM and Microsoft. Jassy said that AWS, which launched in 2006, has simply spent more time in the public cloud market than other providers. Oracle's comparable services hit the market in 2016.

Oracle declined to comment.

Even with its market dominance, AWS is still recording explosive growth. Revenue jumped 42 percent in the third quarter to $4.58 billion, and analysts project sales of almost $5 billion in the fourth quarter.

"You just can't learn certain lessons until you get to different elbows of the curve in scale," Jassy said. "With a business that most estimate is several times the size of the next nine providers combined, we've learned certain lessons that you just can't learn until you get to that level of scale. So they're pretty radically different platforms at this stage."

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But Jassy did say that he could see more than one successful public cloud in the market. And he named both IBM and Oracle as companies that are working hard to compete. Jassy has said many times before that cloud infrastructure is too big for a single company to own.

"It's hard for me to tell who will end up being the successful ones at this point," he said. "There will be more than one, because if you look at the market segments that AWS touches -- infrastructure, software, hardware and data center services -- globally that's trillions of dollars."

But that doesn't mean that all the players who are investing to be relevant will succeed.

"I don't think there's going to be six to 10," he said. "This is a game of scale."

--Jon Fortt contributed to this report.