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Azul rides high on Oracle Java cost adjustments & cloud surge
Wed, 13th Mar 2024

Rising cloud costs and adjustments to Oracle’s Java pricing are catalysts for accelerated growth at Java specialist Azul. In Asia-Pacific, in 2023, the company saw a revenue increase of 37%.

Azul disclosed its accelerated growth across a range of its products and geographical locations. This included an unprecedented demand for its OpenJDK products following the policy alteration to Oracle’s Java SE pricing and the surge in cloud costs facing businesses. New customer bookings for their Oracle alternative, Azul Platform Core, rose by 49% YoY, whilst the number of new core customers also rose by 36% YoY.

In January 2023, Oracle announced a contentious new Java licensing strategy and support pricing plan based on each company's total number of employees. This encompassed all full-time and part-time contractors and consultants of the licensee, regardless of how much Java was used within the organisation. As a result of the changes, companies worldwide have seen their prices increase by between 2x and 12x from what they were previously paying Oracle.

The University of Sydney is amongst the customers who made the switch from Oracle Java to the Azul Platform Core. Emiliano Fisanotti, a vendor management specialist and University Software Licensing Community executive member at the University of Sydney, said: "With Azul, we found a trusted partner who was easy to work with and provided a secure, drop-in replacement for Oracle Java." Scott Sellers, co-founder and CEO at Azul, further added, "Azul is the clear leader in helping ease that transition to our Java runtime and development platform that is based on the same open-source code as Oracle's, with broader support, for typically at least 70% less in support fees."

In addition to the success seen with Azul Platform Core, growth within Azul was also fuelled by new and existing customers prioritising cloud cost optimisation. Customers typically experience a 20%+ decrease in their cloud and infrastructure costs when deploying Azul's high-performance Java runtime, Azul Platform Prime. Outside of North America, Azul experienced significant growth in its regions, particularly in APAC, which increased by 37% year-over-year in new bookings.

The Oracle pricing modification also paved the way for additional opportunities and earnings for Azul's partners, with 36 new channel partners joining the PartnerConnect programme in six months. Dwight Jordan, vice president of Software Alliances and Operations at SoftwareOne, an Azul partner, stated, "Whenever changes occur in software pricing models, they present an opportunity for us to assist clients in modernising their legacy infrastructure and optimising their cloud investments."

Last year, Azul released new products and features that assured performance, security, and value for customers. Cisco even recognised This with a 2023 Emerging Excellence Award. Scott Sellers concluded, "Last year was a year of exceptional growth for Azul. Our relentless dedication to Java innovation, coupled with our unwavering commitment to customer excellence and building out our channel ecosystem, enabled us to have a tremendous year."