Oracle Aims to Leverage Cloud to Overtake SAP as Top Apps Seller
She also argued that customers who run their own thousands of instances of the Oracle database run more risk than if they had Oracle manage it. "We handle all the patching and updates," she said. "And one of our data centers is underground in Texas. You don't know where it is. There is not a possible chance it could be breached." Oracle is "fundamentally a product company," Hurd said, and revenue from the cloud is racing ahead at a run rate of over $2 billion a year. "In Q3, we added more cloud ERP customers than Workday has totaled in its history," Hurd said. "We'll sell more SaaS and PaaS than Salesforce.com in 2015." While consumer spending on IT has "gone through the roof," Hurd noted that corporate spending on IT has remained relatively flat. He said 30 percent of that spending is on testing and deploying apps. With its software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, Java as the most popular developer language and Oracle as the most popular database, Hurd said the company is best-positioned to capture that revenue. "You might say Microsoft would be our biggest competitor with .Net and SQL Server," said Hurd. "I'm not going to say anything about that except that we like our chances.""Our industry has taken a lot of that out by looking at training as more of an expense than an investment," he said. Unlike other tech firms, Oracle actively recruits at select college campuses and hired more than 1,300 recent college graduates in the United States this year. Hurd compared Oracle's approach favorably to what he said was a more typical practice of "overpaying for some other company's bad sales people." These new employees get several weeks of training and eventually join the sales team as part of Oracle Direct for as long as three years, which Hurd compared to an extended interview. Asked about getting new customers, Hurd said that if Oracle wanted to double the number of customers it has now, it would be mathematically impossible because it already has so many enterprises and other organizations on board. "We just have to sell more," he said. "There are 200 companies in enterprise IT that account for 40 percent of all the spend. If you want to grow like us, you have to have high customer [satisfaction] and sell more things."
Hurd said Oracle has gone back to the future in looking for ways to enhance its workforce. He recalled that when he was starting out, he was recruited at his college campus and stayed with the company that hired him, NCR Corp., for 25 years, including six-to-seven months of training. He considered some of the training "drudgery" at the time, but came to realize it was quite useful in advancing his career.