Oracle trolls Salesforce -- cloud up 50%

Oracle CTO Ellison predicts: “The first cloud company to reach $10 billion in SaaS and PaaS revenue.”

Oracle Q4

Oracle Corp is catching up in cloud. Although it was late to the party, it says it’s now doing very well, as its fiscal Q4 numbers demonstrate.

And in an ironic troll to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Larry Ellison publicly hopes to reach $10 billion revenue before him. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers break out the popcorn.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: LOVE

What’s the craic? Jay Greene is envious: [You're fired -Ed.]

Oracle...posted better-than-expected [Q4] its cloud-computing business. [It] blew past the guidance it delivered three months ago.

[But] its much larger and more lucrative business of selling software [to run] on site has been shrinking. [It] fell 12% from a year earlier.

Oh! Sounds positive. Stephanie Condon reports continued growth in cloud sales:

Oracle...posted non-GAAP earnings of 81 cents a share on revenues of $10.6 billion. ... Market expectations [averaged] 82 cents a share on sales of $10.47 billion.

Total Cloud as a service (SaaS)...platform as a service (PaaS) [and] infrastructure as a service (IaaS), were $859 million, up 49 percent. ... Oracle CEO Safra Catz said..."We are a force to be reckoned with in the cloud." ... Oracle CEO Mark Hurd [said] the company added more than 1,600 new SaaS...and more than 2,000 new PaaS customers.

Let’s put words in Oracle’s mouth. Paul Gillin tries, with Oracle to Wall Street skeptics: “We’re doing just fine, thank you”:

Oracle continues to baffle its critics. ... Despite a late start in cloud computing [and] allegations that it misrepresented cloud revenues, the company again beat Wall Street...estimates. [And] Oracle seems to be managing expectations better than some rivals.

Gross margins of 56 percent in [SaaS and PaaS] are higher than most of Oracle’s competition, according to...Catz.

Oracle is responding effectively to...competitors like Salesforce...while navigating the transition...from license sales to subscriptions. [And] Analysts...are also impressed with Oracle’s cost discipline.

Oracle is close to turning the corner on its revenue mix. ... How long it can keep the magic going is anybody’s guess.

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. And Dan Burrows digs in, with Cloud Computing Growth Is the Key:

Oracle stock had rough 2015. Shares fell nearly 20% as revenue languished.

Analysts don’t expect a big swing in revenue. ... Rather, ORCL is becoming more profitable. [And] Oracle’s strategy is paying off more quickly than analysts expect.

Transitioning to cloud-based services [is] a tough process that weighs on results. ... Pivoting to the cloud is also a long and pricey process. ... But it is indeed working.

And it’s about personalities. Barb Darrow quivers, with Larry Ellison Takes Another Shot At Salesforce:

Take that Marc Benioff. [The] former Oracle executive [had] promised that [Salesforce] would hit $10 billion in annual sales faster than any other enterprise software maker.

[But] Ellison told analysts...“We think we have a fighting chance to be the first SaaS company to surpass $10 billion.” ... The two executives...have spent a good chunk of time over the past few years taking shots at each other.

In any case, making a noisy bid here. But it faces off against not just Salesforce and AWS but Microsoft, IBM and other companies...rushing to embrace cloud as fast as they can.

And Finally…

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