cloudbeat oracleAbout two months ago, Oracle announced it would finally take the plunge into public cloud computing with the Oracle Public Cloud. Oracle technology product marketing VP Rick Schultz talked more about the public cloud today and admitted it was a new frontier for the previously cloud-agnostic company.

Schultz talked with VentureBeat editor-in-chief Matt Marshall on stage at CloudBeat 2011 in Redwood City. The crux of the conversation concerned how Oracle is moving to launch its version of the public cloud in the spring of 2012.

One point Schultz emphasized is how Oracle’s public cloud would not force you to stay in their ecosystem, and that it would allow developers to move their applications to other clouds if they needed to.

“We don’t lock you in,” Schultz said. “You can send your app to the Amazon cloud, for example.”

One challenge presented to Oracle that Schultz mentioned is convincing customers who have already embraced the cloud to join up with Oracle as well. But he said there are many customers who have already used a private cloud, and who are now interested in the public-private hybrid model.

“Forty percent of Oracle customers already have adopted the private cloud,” Schultz said. “But we’re seeing the public cloud grow and the interest in the public cloud is growing fast. Our role in the public cloud will evolve over time”

Schultz also noted that Oracle technology already helps power many clouds, including parts of Amazon’s cloud and Softbank’s cloud. He said customers would continue to use Oracle tech to power the cloud and use the company’s new public cloud to help explore new models.

“We can provide customers with a roadmap of how to get from here to there,” Schultz said, “We have a lot of customers who are doing cloud computing in a revolutionary manner. For us, it’s about giving our customers a roadmap to explore public and private models.”

In the cloud space, Oracle also recently announced plans to acquire cloud-based sales force automation and customer service company RightNow for $1.5 billion in late October.