Azul Sees Growth Due to Higher Cloud Costs and Oracle’s Java Pricing Shift

Singapore, March 18, 2024: A 100% Java-focused firm, Azul, recently revealed that last year saw increased growth across all of its product categories and geographic areas. This growth was attributed to both organisations struggling with rising cloud prices and the extraordinary demand for its OpenJDK products following Oracle’s change in Java SE pricing policy.

Oracle’s Java Pricing Change Boosts Azul’s Growth

In January 2023, Oracle unveiled a contentious new Java licencing and support pricing structure that takes into account a business’s whole workforce, including all full-time, part-time, contractors, and consultants, regardless of how much Java is actually utilised on the premises. Companies worldwide are experiencing price increases of anything from 2x to 12x for what a client would have previously paid Oracle as a result of the changing subscription charge.

Following that announcement, Azul has had a 49% year-over-year increase in new customer bookings for Azul Platform Core, its OpenJDK-based Oracle substitute. Year over year, there was a 36% rise in the number of new Core customers added. The University of Sydney, one of the company’s clients, moved from Oracle Java to Azul Platform Core in search of lower costs, more predictability, and simpler business operations.

“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.”

Azul’s growth was propelled not only by the success of Azul Platform Core, but also by the fact that both new and current customers prioritised cloud cost optimisation. By deploying Azul’s high-performance Java runtime, Azul Platform Prime, customers can reduce their cloud and infrastructure costs by more than 20%, which results in a 30% increase in new customer bookings year over year. Last year, Azul also kept up a 95% client ARR retention rate.

Azul’s territories outside of North America had strong growth last quarter: new bookings in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region increased 37% year over year, while new bookings in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) market increased 69% year over year.

In a six-month period, 36 new channel partners joined the PartnerConnect programme as a result of the Oracle pricing shift, providing Azul’s partners with additional options and revenue streams. Furthermore, there was a 67% rise in new clients via Azul’s channel partners compared to the previous year.

The extended channel programme, which already has over 100 members worldwide, offers partners faster incentives as they advance through the ranks. Channel partners may assist customers in optimising their cloud infrastructure, reducing Java support and licencing expenses, and delivering disruptive revenue-generating applications at competitive margins by collaborating with Azul.

“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.

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.

Cisco honoured Azul’s creative procedures, technology, and services with a 2023 Emerging Excellence Award. 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, quality, and responsiveness,” Azul was selected from more than 600 Cisco suppliers. Additionally, Azul was just placed #9 in The Software Report’s list of the Top 25 Cloud Computing Companies for 2024. Azul was re-elected to the Java Committee Executive Team, a crucial steering committee for Java’s development and future, further solidifying its position as a leader in the language.

“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.”