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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd: We have the whole cloud stack

John Gallant,Eric Knorr | Sept. 20, 2016
In an exclusive interview, CEO Mark Hurd offers the lowdown on Oracle's cloud strategy -- and the gamut of technologies it can bring to delivering cloud solutions

Few enterprise IT transformations can match the importance of today’s long migration from on-premises, client-server computing to cloud computing. This week at Oracle’s mammoth OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, Oracle will make it abundantly clear that it intends to become a leader in all three flavors of cloud -- not only SaaS, where the company has already demonstrated strength, but also in PaaS and IaaS, where Oracle is a new player.

Last Friday, in advance of OpenWorld, IDG chief content officer John Gallant and InfoWorld editor in chief Eric Knorr interviewed Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd to get his take on Oracle’s cloud growth strategy, its new cloud initiatives, and Hurd's take on what customers want from the cloud. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

[ Download the public cloud megaguide PDF: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Joyent compared. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing newsletter. ]

John Gallant: You had your Q1 earnings announcement yesterday, and obviously, there are a lot of people focused on the specific numbers around PaaS and SaaS and other things. I wonder if you could give a progress report on the transition to the cloud, one that’s more focused on things that would be meaningful for an IT audience than the financial audience.

Mark Hurd: First the numbers we produced yesterday were, I think, astounding. We grew 82 percent in our cloud, SaaS, PaaS revenues. We had over 40 percent growth in our bookings number, which was following up on a year ago when we had 166 percent growth in our bookings number.

All these numbers sort of blur together, but I think the theme is they’re really big. They’re exciting, and now our numbers are meaningful. We passed the $800 million mark in absolute revenue in the quarter. You can do the math with our bookings. Take the Q1 bookings, and over time that will provision into the base as well. It is a large business that is getting bigger.

What’s interesting is that as our business has gotten bigger, our growth rate has actually gotten bigger. I announced yesterday this was our seventh consecutive organic growth rate increase so this is just a long time of getting bigger. If Amazon is at 58 or 59 [percent], we’re at 82, [Microsoft] Azure is slower than Amazon.

I think it’s a testimony to a few things. Certainly one of them is the way customers now want to buy. I think that part of this is Oracle; part of this is the market. For us, we’re building great products. I think that’s the best, most obvious reason why you see the numbers you do, but in addition to that, it’s what customers want to buy, the way they want to buy it. I think that’s probably just as important as anything we’re doing here.


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