Oracle Aims to Leverage Cloud to Overtake SAP as Top Apps Seller

Oracle’s co-CEO’s Mark Hurd and Safra Catz say the company's advantage in cloud computing platforms will enable it to overtake SAP as the sop seller of enterprise applications.

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.—Oracle intends to decisively beat top rival SAP in enterprise apps, said co-CEO Safra Catz in a briefing with reporters here April 30 at company headquarters.

"We're still number two to them in applications, even when you subtract the resell of Oracle database they include in their number. We're not about winning by a nose. We're going to pass those guys by a mile."

Catz and co-CEO Mark Hurd claimed SAP missed the boat by not committing fully to apps specifically developed for the cloud as Oracle did as part of its Fusion Initiative, which was a massive project to rewrite the code of its apps portfolio and to develop middleware to enable the apps to work together.

Most of those apps had been acquired through corporate acquisitions of a multitude of companies, including PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, Hyperion and Innobase. They represented a disparate code base that had to be integrated under the Fusion Initiative.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Business Hurd said Oracle planned to have 95 percent of Oracle's applications in the cloud by its Oracle OpenWorld conference this October. That would be a big jump from the estimated 65 percent of Oracle apps available via the cloud today.

Oracle's biggest competitor for cloud apps is, which was recently rumored to be Oracle's latest acquisition target. However, Catz said Oracle never comments on acquisition rumors. "In most cases, the answer is no [i.e., Oracle isn't the rumored suitor]," she said. "We've never had a deal leak, and we've never been the leak."

She said if another company such as Microsoft acquired Salesforce, it would probably be good for Oracle in the short term because managing such an acquisition would be disruptive to that company's operations.

Cloud Security and Revenue Growth

While making a big cloud push, Catz made it clear it's up to customers to decide whether they want to stay with on-premise or cloud-based apps, depending on their comfort level and what fits best with their IT infrastructure.

Another speaker, Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian, said the company's strategy in the cloud is driven by its belief that there are many more people in the world who want to use Oracle products, but lack the infrastructure to do so.

"We want anyone in the world, as long as you have a browser, to be able to run our software without needing a data center or big investment in hardware and software," he said. "We can improve customers' agility by making this self-service and letting them use what they need."

In response to a question by eWEEK about cloud security, Catz said she had no doubt Oracle offers more security than its competitors. "We had that level of paranoia about security early on at the company; our security consciousness is very prevalent and deep. We obsess about it."

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...