Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Azul Reports Accelerated Growth Across Product Lines and Geographies, Boosted by Oracle’s Java Pricing Change and Rising Cloud Costs

Azul, the only company 100% focused on Java, today announced accelerated growth last year across its product portfolio and geographies, including unprecedented demand for its OpenJDK products in the wake of Oracle’s Java SE pricing policy change and enterprises grappling with soaring cloud costs.

Growth Boosted by Oracle’s Java Pricing Change

In January 2023, Oracle introduced a controversial new Java licensing and support pricing plan based on a company’s total number of employees, including every full-time, part-time, contractors and consultants, regardless of the amount of Java actually used within the organization. The outcome of the subscription fee change has resulted in companies around the world seeing anywhere between 2x – 12x increase in prices for what a customer previously paid Oracle. 

Since that announcement, Azul has seen tremendous growth in new customer bookings for its OpenJDK-based Oracle alternative, Azul Platform Core, with an increase of 49% year-over-year. The number of new Core customers added increased by 36% year-over-year.

One customer, the University of Sydney, switched from Oracle Java to Azul Platform Core, looking for cost savings, greater predictability and ease of doing business.

“As with most universities, we are always looking for efficiency from our IT vendor relationships, not just by lowering costs, but also by eliminating uncertainty and distractions. Supporting so many departments and managing a wide range of vendor relationships means I can’t afford to worry about unexpected headaches such as price increases and audits,” said Emiliano Fisanotti, vendor management specialist and University Software Licensing Community executive member, The University of Sydney. “With Azul, we found a trusted partner who was easy to work with and provided a secure, drop-in replacement for Oracle Java.”

“It’s clear that customers are frustrated with the uncertainty around Oracle Java’s frequent pricing and licensing changes — the switch last January was its fourth major change in four years, leaving customers looking for other options,” said Scott Sellers, co-founder and CEO at Azul. “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.”

Product and Territory Growth

In addition to success seen with Azul Platform Core, Azul’s growth was also driven by new and existing customers prioritizing cloud cost optimization – customers typically experience a 20%+ decrease in their cloud and infrastructure costs as a result of deploying Azul’s high-performance Java runtime Azul Platform Prime – leading to an increase in new customer bookings of 30% year-over-year. Azul also maintained a 95% customer ARR retention rate last year.

Outside of North America, Azul experienced high growth in its regions – Azul’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) region grew 37% year-over-year in new bookings and its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region saw an increase in new bookings last quarter of 69% year-over-year.

Global Channel Acceleration

The Oracle pricing change also opened up new opportunities and revenue streams for Azul’s partners, with 36 new channel partners joining the PartnerConnect program in a six-month period. In addition, new customers doing business through Azul’s channel partners increased by 67% year-over-year.

Now with more than 100 members globally, the expanded channel program rewards partners with accelerated benefits as they grow with the program. By partnering with Azul, channel partners are able to help customers optimize their cloud infrastructure and lower Java support and licensing costs, all while delivering transformative revenue-generating applications at attractive margins.

“Whenever changes occur in software pricing models, they present an opportunity for us to assist clients in modernizing their legacy infrastructure and optimizing their cloud investments. At SoftwareOne, we’ve forged partnerships with key software providers, such as Azul, to empower clients with comprehensive insights into their software estate, enabling them to unlock additional commercial opportunities,” commented Dwight Jordan, vice president of Software Alliances and Operations at SoftwareOne.

Azul also began to offer select products on the AWS and Google Cloud marketplaces, making it easier for customers and their channel partners to seamlessly procure Azul products.

Product and Technology Excellence

Azul continued its long history of Java innovation by releasing new products and features last year that ensure performance, security and value for customers. New products and innovations include:

  • Announced in February 2023, Azul Platform Core and Azul Platform Prime now support 64-bit ARM architectures, including AWS Graviton, enabling customers to optimize cloud costs and boost the performance of cloud-native applications, popular open-source technologies and Java-based frameworks. 

  • In August 2023, Azul launched ReadyNow Orchestrator for Platform Prime, slashing warmup times for Java applications and opening another path to improved operational efficiencies and optimized cloud costs.

  • In May 2023, Azul released the world's first commercially supported builds of OpenJDK with Coordinated Restore at Checkpoint (CRaC) functionality, delivering a highly anticipated feature to the Java community and a major milestone toward improving Java startup and warmup times.

  • Launched in October 2023, Azul added a new feature to its Intelligence Cloud platform, Code Inventory, that saves substantial development time and money by accurately identifying dead and unused code for removal.

Azul’s innovative processes, technology and services were recognized by Cisco with a 2023 Emerging Excellence Award. Azul was chosen from more than 600 Cisco suppliers as a company that is “up and coming, breaking out of the norms by differentiating themselves, going above and beyond in service and operational performance in one or more key business functions regarding delivery, capabilities and quality and responsiveness.” Azul was also recently ranked #9 among The Software Report’s Top 25 Cloud Computing Companies of 2024. Reinforcing its leadership in Java, Azul was also re-elected to the Java Committee Executive Team, a key steering committee for Java, its development and roadmap.

“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,” continued Sellers. “With our clear vision focused on Java, dedication to our customers and a robust roadmap ahead, we are poised for even greater success in the year ahead.”

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