Oracle reported numbers yesterday and the results were better than expected. Earnings on a per-share basis were 64 cents, three cents above the consensus of 61 cents. Sales were $9.11 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $9.03 billion. The main driver for the outstanding performance was new software license sales, which rose by 17 percent to reach $2.4 billion. License updates grew 7 percent to $4.3 billion. Hardware revenue was $734 million.
And yet, it didn’t matter….
Somehow this remarkable performance couldn’t hide the fact that Oracle is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern enterprise software world. Other than current shareholders, Wall Street and the press I don’t think anybody was really interested or excited about Oracle’s earning report.
The enterprise software world is changing and changing fast and you have to wonder whether Oracle can continue buying their way out of irrelevance. In an enterprise software world driven by cloud, mobility, big data and social models, Oracle is still following the same rules that made it a dominant player in enterprise IT in the last three decades. The problem winds of the enterprise software world have shifted in a way that not even Oracle can afford to ignore.
When analyzing the pillars of the new enterprise IT world is hard to think about Oracle as an influential player in any of them.
As of today, Oracle has no presence or technology in the enterprise mobility space. Despite the increasing investments in the space by longtime rival SAP, Oracle keeps ignoring the enterprise mobility movements. At the moment, none of Oracle platforms have a well-established mobile presence and there is no clear roadmap for it.
Despite recent investments in the Oracle Cloud platform, Oracle can hardly be considered a strong player when comes to cloud platforms. In the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space, Oracle Cloud looses hands downs when compared to competitors like Amazon’s Web Services, RackSpace or Google Compute Engine. In the platform as a service context, technologies such as Heroku, CloudFoundry, Force.com, Windows Azure or OpenShift are miles ahead of Oracle Cloud in terms of capabilities, market presence, developer and partner communities.
This is the area where Oracle might have seen the most traction lately with products such as Oracle Fusion CRM Cloud Service and the recent acquisition of Taleo and RoghtNow. However, this space is heavily competitive with large vendors like Salesforce.com and SAP’s Success Factors or exciting new companies like WorkDay.
Exadata is a great technology but can’t really be considered an influential technology in the big data space. Startups like Cloudera, HorthinWorks, DataStax and many others gaining increasing traction with simple solutions, more agile distribution models and passionate developer communities which highly contrasts with the close and exclusive Exadata partner model.
So what can we conclude from all this?
Oracle earnings report was a great validation that the enterprise IT market remains strong but hardly a reason to be excited about Oracle technology roadmap. There are 2 words that come to mind when I think about Oracle these days in the new enterprise software world: Strong and Irrelevant.