Posts Tagged ‘Oracle’

Oracle shoves IBM out of world’s No 2 software seller spot – Gartner

April 2nd, 2014

Oracle sold more software than IBM last year for the first time ever, making Larry Ellison’s database giant second only to Microsoft, at least according to analyst Gartner.

Oracle made $29.6bn during 2013, growing 3.4 per cent over the previous year and elevating it from world’s third largest to second-largest software vendor.

IBM, which had been world number two, fell one place to third – just behind Oracle on revenue of $29.1bn, representing a growth of just 1.4 per cent.

At the opposite end of the table, Salesforce also chalked up a first – breaking into Gartner’s top 10 for the first time.

Salesforce earned $3.8bn during 2013, an increase of 33.3 per cent on the 2012 number. Last year, Salesforce was outside the top 10, at number 12.

The company is the antithesis of Oracle and IBM, which has made a business from CRM sold not as an installable piece of software but as a service.

This is the first time a cloud or SaaS providers has made it into Gartner’s top 10.

Gartner research vice president Joanne Correia said in a statement the debut is testament to the fact cloud is driving the bulk of change in the software market.

Microsoft remained the world’s biggest software maker, earning more than twice as much as IBM or Oracle: $65.7bn, an increase of six per cent.

It’s the tussle between IBM and Oracle that’s significant, given they are both enterprise IT giants trying to reposition themselves to grab the cloud market.

The difference between IBM and Oracle is relatively small, but the psychological impact is significant.

Neither company has had a fantastic year. Oracle’s growth has been slowing while it has been trying to spin up belated cloud hosting businesses and services.

IBM has stumbled badly: hit by falling hardware sales and struggling on cloud, it’s now spending $1.2bn to roll out 40 cloud data centres to make up.

Software sales had been growing.

Larry Ellison has long wanted to make his company the new IBM, based on size and status.

Typically, however, the competition has been on servers – particularly integrated systems, one reason Ellison bought Sun Microsystems’ server business in 2010.

IBM, meanwhile, has pinned its future to software.

The giant’s goal under a five-year roadmap published in 2010 is for EPS of $20 a share in 2015 – with around half of IBM’s profits coming from software.

IBM has sold its x86 server business to Lenovo – the final step in exiting low-profit hardware that started with its sale of the IBM PC business in 2005, also to Lenovo.

Particularly painful for IBM will be the fact is Gartner reckons Oracle’s growth has come from big data and analytics. IBM has been pushing both, through sales of things such as its SPSS predictive analytics software and initiatives such as Smart Cities.

Chad Eschinger, Gartner research vice president, said in a statement: “Global trends around big data and analytics with business investment in database and cloud-based applications helped to drive Oracle’s top-line growth.”


Oracle throws down the HCM software gauntlet at HCM World

February 7th, 2014

Oracle President Mark Hurd’s message about the human capital management (HCM) software market at the vendor’s first-ever HCM World conference this week in Las Vegas was not subtle.

“We want to make sure the market knows Oracle is serious about HCM, serious about HR and serious about leading this space,” Hurd said in a keynote speech.

And judging from the executive representation, it wasn’t just talk. Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO, is scheduled to deliver the conference’s closing keynote.

“How many times have Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd presented at the same event other than Oracle OpenWorld? Zero. And we’re doing that here,” Hurd said.

Oracle’s focus on HR mirrors what’s happening in organizations, according to research data presented during the event’s opening night. When asked to rank 10 challenges in order of importance on Conference Board’s 2014 CEO Challenges Study, human capital emerged as the top priority for survey respondents. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 17th Annual CEO Survey revealed that 92% of U.S. CEOs are either considering changing their talent strategies, or are already in the process of doing so. The theme of a presentation by Ed Boswell, a PwC practice leader, was “Our Time Has Come.” With more eyes on HR than ever before, Boswell said HR leaders have a once-in-a-career opportunity to exert more influence in their organizations.

Hurd’s remarks made it clear that Oracle plans to take advantage of the rising tide. But as Bill Kutik, technology columnist for Human Resource Executive magazine put it in an October 2013 article, today’s HCM software market is a “horse race,” with Oracle, SAP and Workday battling it out for supremacy. Kutik wrote that each has advantages and disadvantages, and “all three companies are a long way from the finish line.”

So how does Hurd envisage Oracle pulling into the lead? His answer was simple.

“We are going to out-engineer our competitors,” he said.

Hurd champions Oracle above Workday and SAP in HCM software market

During a press roundtable, Hurd delved more deeply into Oracle’s positioning against SAP and Workday.

“SAP, to my knowledge, [has] rewritten none of their applications for the cloud,” he said. “We’ve done the work.”

Hurd also cast an unfavorable eye towards SAP’s acquisition of SuccessFactors. “We bought Taleo, which was the world leading recruiting company. We’ve integrated Taleo with Fusion, and we’ve done a buy-build strategy,” he said. SAP has “done a buy strategy of a performance management company that was attempting to get into recruiting.

“I just think we will out-engineer them. We’ve made better acquisitions than they have, and the collection of our capabilities will lead the market,” he continued.

As for Workday, Hurd focused his critiques on the vendor’s functionality. For instance, one area where Workday trails, in Hurd’s opinion, is social media.

“Social is a big deal to us. We think it’s a key differentiator against Workday which we don’t believe has social capabilities,” he said. “We believe that’s a huge miss.”

While Hurd admitted that Workday was “out a little bit in advance of [Oracle] from a product perspective,” he said he feels Oracle has not only caught up to the native Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendor, but surpassed it. He brought up the fact that Workday just rolled out a new user interface based on HTML5 instead of Adobe Flash last month, and said the company has had “well-documented” problems with its mobile capabilities.

Hurd also hung his hat on Taleo again in regard to Workday. While Workday’s newly developed recruiting module is set to be released later this year, Zachary Thomas, Oracle vice president of HCM cloud strategy, estimated that deep recruiting functionality takes upwards of six years to cultivate.

“I think it’s an internal mobility app, I don’t think it’s a recruiting app,” Thomas said of Workday Recruiting. “I think it has absolutely no social capabilities — there’s no social referrals, no social marketing.” In Thomas’ view, pursuing an acquisition integration strategy in the recruiting area with Taleo was a wise path for Oracle — to its customers’ benefit.

However, Hurd acknowledged Workday’s overall positive brand perception. “I think they have had the cool factor,” he said. “Listen, we just need to show up and do a better job.”

As for Oracle’s momentum, Hurd said the company will provide further integration between Taleo and Fusion in coming months, deepening the link between talent and core HR applications. He also pledged his support to PeopleSoft users, saying that although Oracle is “driving very hard on innovation in the cloud,” it will not abandon its on-premises customer base.

The latest version of Oracle HCM Cloud was announced during the event. Release 8 features “more than 200 new innovations, including an integrated time and attendance solution, workforce modeling [and] additional global support for payroll and new languages,” according to a press release. The version also includes new social sourcing capabilities and enhancements to the user interface.


HCM software is ‘all about the people,’ Larry Ellison says

February 7th, 2014

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison relied on a time-tested bromide to sell a conference crowd on the vendor’s array of HCM (human capital management) applications on Thursday.

“When you’re running the business, it’s all about the people,” Ellison said during the HCM World event in Las Vegas. “You can’t run a successful business or government agency if you don’t take care of your people. And you can’t be a successful company if you don’t take care of your customers. You can’t be a successful government agency if you don’t take care of your constituents.”

Effective HCM software gives people the tools they need to do their jobs well, Ellison said.

HCM can also help companies recruit the right people, bring them on board, and make sure the best employees are getting the appropriate rewards, he said.

“You should be constantly communicating with your people,” Ellison added. “The people then themselves have to connect with each other.” HCM software should provide this social interaction layer, he said. To this end, Oracle HCM is integrated with the vendor’s Social Network software, which has a Facebook-like interface.

Oracle is in fierce competition with other HCM vendors, such as SAP, Workday and Cornerstone on Demand.

While Oracle has already long offered PeopleSoft HCM, which is typically deployed on premises, of late it has spent big to build out its cloud-based HCM portfolio with deals such as the US$1.9 billion purchase of Taleo in 2012.

HCM has become a particularly strategic application category for a number of reasons, particularly its breadth. A company might initially add recruiting or employee orientation modules to its core payroll and benefits system, then later on bring in learning and development or employee performance management.

Large companies, particularly, may also invest in HCM-related analytics, such as for workforce planning or pinpointing top-performing but dissatisfied employees who may be looking to leave the company. The span of capabilities was in evidence during Ellison’s talk as he displayed slide after slide outlining Oracle’s panoply of HCM modules.

In addition, many types of HCM software are licensed for all employees in a company. While the per-user cost for many modules tends to be fairly low, the deal sizes add up when they’re struck with a multinational corporation.

Ellison wasn’t talking about the piles of cash Oracle hopes to make with its HCM portfolio on Thursday. Instead, he talked about how Oracle’s customers could become more successful with the technology.

“For years and years, we talked about empowering people,” he said. “I think it’s not that simple. You’ve got to give them tools, hook them up to mentors, give them learning tools, career planning tools, so when you do empower them they have the right perspective and the right skill set to make a contribution to the company.”

He also underscored the importance of social networking to HCM.

“People are interested in what other people are doing,” Ellison said. “People are thirsty for information about what the company is doing. The ability to get people to connect—to connect to the company, to one another—is going to make for a very satisfied workforce. If you can reduce turnover, that’s a dramatic productivity improvement for your company.”


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