Microsoft (MSFT -0.18%) and Oracle (ORCL 1.10%) have created a cloud infrastructure offering that allows for a seamless multi-cloud platform, eliminating previous inefficiencies and providing tools from both companies. Here's how the tie-up could help the pair catch up to Amazon's (AMZN 0.58%) Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Match made in heaven

About two-thirds of enterprise-level cloud customers use a multi-cloud approach to running their businesses. That may be because they see value in using the tools provided by different cloud providers. Companies may also be forced into a multi-cloud system due to mergers or acquisitions. Either way, using more than one cloud provider can cause inefficiencies when moving data from one provider's platform to another.

Laptops with a map of the world on their screens connected to a cloud icon.

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Microsoft and Oracle have been working to make life easier for overlapping customers of the two cloud providers. It turns out the pair have been working together since 2019 on a project that linked Oracle's cloud infrastructure to Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure. Customers liked having the ability to use Azure's data analytics tools in combination with their ERP software from Oracle, but moving data between the two platforms was time-consuming.

Microsoft and Oracle have since ironed out the data flow issues. Now they're rolling out the combination in a fully integrated format. There are no fees associated with quickly and easily transferring data, but customers are charged for using additional new features available through the partnership.

That means there is likely a significant cross-selling opportunity for both companies. For instance, healthcare customers that Oracle acquired from its recently completed acquisition of Cerner can transition health data over to Azure to use Azure Synapse, its data analytics tool. Likewise, Azure customers can now access tools from Oracle.

In addition to adding interoperability to their new multi-cloud offering, the companies also took user experience into account. Existing Oracle customers will continue to use their familiar interface while using Microsoft tools and vice versa. That way, customers will not need to learn an entirely new system to use the new service.

Taking on the champ

Amazon's AWS cloud service is far and away the industry leader in cloud infrastructure. The company holds a commanding 33% share. Azure is the runner-up with 21%. Oracle is further down on the list with a 2% share. Each cloud provider hosts data for customers and offers its own set of analytical tools. The combined offering from Microsoft and Oracle could be one of the more robust.

The cloud computing market is expected to grow by over 17% annually through 2030. As new cloud customers join the party, Microsoft and Oracle could capture a larger portion of the growing market in an attempt to overthrow AWS. Valuation could be another bonus for prospective investors.

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Based on their forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios, both stocks are cheaper than they have been over the last year. Forward P/E looks at expected earnings. Opportunistic investors combing the downtrodden stock market for bargains should have these two stocks on their radars.