Oracle Continues to Beat the Cloud Drum
Price also said businesses are getting increasingly comfortable with running workloads in cloud environments, and he expects more mission-critical applications to migrate there. In response to a journalist's question, he said, "I think everything can go to the cloud." Oracle's broad cloud efforts are having an impact, according to company officials. Price noted that Oracle's cloud business has about 62 million subscribers, and processes more than 23 billion transactions a day. While announcing fiscal 2015 first-quarter financial numbers in September, Oracle executives said that cloud revenue grew 29 percent over the same period last year, to $477 million, and that revenues for SaaS, PaaS and IaaS jumped from 25 percent to 31 percent. The company has gained 500 new cloud customers. The company is scheduled to release second-quarter numbers Dec. 17. "We're focused on … becoming number one in the cloud," Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd said during a conference call in September to talk about the first-quarter figures. "That means growing our cloud business rapidly. So you're seeing an acceleration in our growth rate. … Not only are we getting bigger in the cloud, our growth rate is going up. That's usually the opposite of what happens."While Oracle can run customer applications on its own cloud, it isn't pursuing the public cloud part of the equation as aggressively as others, such as VMware and EMC, he said. That was evident in the Dec. 9 launch of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which counted among its members IBM, EMC, VMware and SAP. Oracle's absence was obvious, King said. "It's a company that's tended to go out on its own," he said. However, as illustrated by the Cloud Foundry launch, interoperability is important in cloud environments, and "it needs to be there from the get-go, or customers won't buy into it."
Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, said that Ellison and the other Oracle executives deserve credit for ramping up the company's cloud capabilities after getting a late start in the booming field. However, as organizations begin to embrace hybrid clouds—running private clouds behind the firewall while also engaging public clouds when needed—Oracle is lagging its key competitors, in particular Microsoft (with its Azure platform) and IBM (with its IBM Cloud based on the SoftLayer acquisition), King told eWEEK.