Mark Hurd: Oracle is committed to the cloud


Oracle is pushing its cloud computing strategies by investing in its software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions. The giant IT company has made several acquisitions to boost its portfolio over the last few months. And yesterday, Oracle’s president, Mark Hurd, and executive vice president, Thomas Kurian, held a conference call with members of the media to update the firm’s cloud plans and releases.

Before Oracle jumped into the cloud space, Hurd explained that the company’s overall business strategy is based on two main principles: simplifying IT and powering innovation. And cloud is key to both.

Oracle highlighted its cloud computing strategies and goals at last year’s Oracle Open World in San Francisco, when the company launched seven cloud-based services, which augment Oracle’s comprehensive portfolio of platform services, application services and social servicesall of which are available on a subscription basis.

At that time, Oracle’s CEO and founder, Larry Ellison, highlighted cloud computing as well as social networking as critical technologies that will lead the company toward mass data. On Monday, both Hurd and Kurian pointed out how cloud has evolved.

“We are delivering many cloud announcements. It shows how Oracle is committed to the cloud,” said Hurd. He also mentioned that Oracle has 10,000 cloud customers and 25 million cloud users worldwide. “Nine of the top 10 SaaS providers are powered by Oracle,” he said.
Hurd added that Oracle now generates more than U.S.$1 billion from software as a service annually.

Without providing many details during the 30-minute-conference call, Kurian said new public cloud releases include SaaS offerings, such as enterprise resource planning; sales and marketing; human resources; talent management; and customer service. “They include not just new capabilities, advances, new functions and individual areas but they also bring people who use them more together,” Kurian said.

As for platform as a service, Kurian said Oracle has database and Java as a service. He noted that there are customers that have begun to use PaaS integrated with their SaaS applications recently.

The third public offering that Kurian announced were social products:  social relationship management, and social engagement and monitoring products. “These two new releases are both for social marketing and social listening,” he explained.

To support all public cloud offerings, Kurian said Oracle has opened data centers not only in the U.S. but also in key areas, such as two data centers in Europe and two in the Asia-Pacific region to meet international demand and data requirements.

Regarding private cloud, Oracle highlighted its infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings. “It aims to help customers to build their own private cloud, running in their own data centers, but using Oracle engineering systems,” Kurian said.

In September, Oracle entered into an agreement to acquire SelectMinds, a provider of cloud-based social talent sourcing and corporate alumni management applications. This acquisition followed Oracle’s previous asset purchase of Skire, a provider of capital program management and facilities management applications, which are available both on-premise and in the cloud.

Oracle’s latest pair of moves in November showed the company’s efforts to bolster its cloud portfolio. By making a strategic minority investment in Engine Yard, a cloud development platform that supports Ruby, PHP and Node, Oracle has pushed its PaaS strategy. This investment followed the acquisition of Instantis, a cloud-based and on-premise project portfolio management solutions provider.

About Author

Editor, Americas
Roberta Prescott is responsible for Latin America reporting news and analysis, interviewing key stakeholders. Roberta has worked as an IT and telecommunication journalist since March 2005, when she started as a reporter with InformationWeek Brasil magazine and its website IT Web. In July 2006, Prescott was promoted to be the editor-in-chief, and, beyond the magazine and website, was in charge for all ICT products, such as IT events and CIO awards. In mid-2010, she was promoted to the position of executive editor, with responsibility for all the editorial products and content of IT Mídia. Prescott has worked as a journalist since 1998 and has three journalism prizes. In 2009, she won, along with InformationWeek Brasil team, the press prize 11th Prêmio Imprensa Embratel. In 2008, she won the 7th Unisys Journalism Prize and in 2006 was the editor-in-chief when InformationWeek Brasil won the 20th media award Prêmio Veículos de Comunicação. She graduated in Journalism by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, has done specialization in journalism at the Universidad de Navarra (Spain, 2003) and Master in Journalism at IICS – Universidad de Navarra (Brazil, 2010) and MBA – Executive Education at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.