Tag: oracle

Ellison believes SaaS market is a key to the cloud

Larry EllisonAlthough he is not backward about coming forward at the best of times, Oracle Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison has been talking up his outfit’s Cloud business lately, claiming it is doing rather well because if its SaaS presence.

Ellison claims Oracle’s cloud business is “defying conventional wisdom” by accelerating while it expands and this is because of its presence in the SaaS market where rivals are not competing.

“We think we have a fighting chance to be the first SaaS company to make it to $10 billion in annual revenue,” Ellison said.

Oracle is a number two SaaS vendor and had a total SaaS and PaaS revenue of $2.2 billion during fiscal 2016, up 49 percent from the year before. The top SaaS vendor, Salesforce made $6.67 billion in 2016 and expects its 2017 revenue to be $8.08 billion.

Public cloud IaaS leader Amazon Web Services said in April that it’s on track to hit $10 billion in revenue this year.

The cloud accounted for around eight percent of Oracle’s quarterly revenue, but this business to continue growing even faster in Oracle’s fiscal 2017.

Ellison also said Oracle is seeing “a huge amount of demand” for IaaS from its existing SaaS and database customers, which wish to avoid the data migration costs associated with AWS and other cloud vendors.

Oracle has made significant data centre efficiency advancements and can now offer lower costs, better security and superior reliability than any other provider in the market, he added.

 

Oracle’s whistleblower suit opens a can of worms

5707c0e99b6aa.imageThe “whistleblower” who claimed she was told to fudge cloud Oracle’s cloud accounts has done something that Larry Ellison’s PR team should have expected  – it has put a focus on the database maker’s cloud accounting policies.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in US District Court in San Francisco by former Oracle senior finance manager Svetlana Blackburn, also revives longstanding questions about proper accounting when software and computer services are bought on a subscription basis rather than as a single package.

Blackburn said she was required by Oracle management to “fit square data into round holes” to make Oracle’s cloud services’ results look better. She alleges that her bosses instructed her to add millions of dollars of accruals for expected business “with no concrete or foreseeable billing to support the numbers.”

Oracle is reassuring everyone that its numbers are correct, but the fact Blackburn claims she was fired by Oracle for complaining means that the allegations are not going away. Oracle is compounding the problem by threatening to sue Blackburn and claiming she was fired for poor performance.

Blackburn does not use the word “fraud” in her lawsuit, but it might be confusing for a lay person to spot the difference. It is clear Oracle’s sales force has been offered big incentives to book cloud deals. Cloud software is growing fast while traditional software sales slow, companies have an incentive to play up their ability to operate in the cloud.

By not handling Blackburn correctly and even escalating the situation, Oracle’s image is suffering and its shares fell almost  four percent the day after the lawsuit was made public.

It is highlighting a problem that software companies have in booking software sales as cloud or traditional.

The most nebulous part of cloud accounting concerns situations where the customer buys a product that can be used partly in the cloud, and partly on its own hardware.

US accounting rules state that in cases when use is mixed, companies should allocate the revenue between traditional, or licensed software; and cloud, or hosted software.

US Securities and Exchange Commission has investigated IBM over how it reports its cloud-computing revenue although this went no-where. Salesforce was also investigated which ultimately led to the company restating its 2002 and 2003 results, contributed to a delay in Salesforce’s 2004 initial public offering.

But it can get messier. In 2006, software maker Computer Associates had to restate past financial results after an internal audit found issues concerning stock options and how the company booked some subscription revenue. Its former chief executive, Sanjay Kumar, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2006 and was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

This was clearly something that Oracle does not want, but for some reason its legal team and PR Team did not think about this particular fall out. We predict that things are going to get a lot worse for Oracle, even if it ultimately wins.

Oracle sues whistle-blower for suing

oracleOracle apparently has a way with people calling themselves whistle-blowers – it sues them.

Svetlana Blackburn complained in the US district court in San Francisco that she had been fired from the company for refusing to artificially inflate Oracle’s cloud division sales. She said that senior directors had been fudging its software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service figures.

Blackburn said she was a “senior finance manager” at Oracle and accused the database giant of serious financial wrongdoing.

Oracle said that Blackburn worked at Oracle for less than a year and did not work in the accounting group. It insists that she was terminated for poor performance. Oracle will be suing her for malicious prosecution.

But Oracle’s lawyers might not be the only ones investigating the lawsuit – the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is rather interested. If Blackburn has the evidence for her claims, Oracle is going to be in hot-water. If she doesn’t then Oracle is going to want blood.

Oracle’s shares took a battering when she went to court dropping four per cent and wiping about $6 billion off Oracle’s market cap. Oracle is fond of suing people for funny money.

Salesforce demands Demandware

Salesforce_Logo_2009Cloudy Salesforce has written a $2.8 billion cheque for Demandware whose software is used by businesses to run e-commerce websites.

The move is part of a cunning plan to open a new front as Salesforce wants to take more market share from traditional software providers such as Oracle and SAP who offer cloud-based e-commerce services.

The e-commerce market has been growing  as retailers expand their online presence, boosting demand for software that helps manage functions such as payment processing and inventory management.

Salesforce appears to have paid rather a lot for the company to see off any of the other outfits which were bidding for the company. Word on the street is that Adobe and Oracle were also snuffling around.

Demandware has not been doing that well. Its shares, which have fallen about 21 percent in the past year. Its customers include Lands’ End, L’Oreal (because it is worth it) and Marks and Sparks. It has  reported sales growth of more than 30 percent for the last 10 quarters.

While Salesforce has beaten up everyone in the CRM war, it still needs to stay in front.  To do that it needs lots of products which is something it lacks.

Global spending on digital commerce platforms is expected to grow over 14 percent annually to about $8.5 billion by 2020, Salesforce.

The deal, slated to close in Salesforce’s second quarter ending July, is expected to increase the company’s 2017 revenue by about $100 million-$120 million.

Salesforce had forecast fiscal 2017 revenue of $8.16 billion-$8.20 billion in May.

 

EU gives its cloud to BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos

Eu-flag-vector-material2The European Commission has announced BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos will get most of the contracts to supply its new cloud services.

Contracts were broken out into three “lots,” covering a private cloud setup, public cloud setup, and platform-as-a-service, for which it will pay $38.5 million.
The whole lot will be platformed by Telecom Italia which is a bit unfortunate. That outfit is under resourced and its mobile arm TIM just adopted the iChing hexagram for “standing still” as its logo.waiting

It is unusual that Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Amazon and none of the other big cloud outfits managed to get their paws on the EU’s clouds.

The Commission said that all the systems will be physically located within the European Union, the Commission noted, “to be compliant with EU data handling requirements” basically it means that the US will not be able to steal it.

According to the announcement, the contract will “enable the Commission to follow the ceaseless pace of today’s technological race.”

The EU hopes that use of cloud services will help it come up with future improvements to how it works, such as using “Big Data.”

The private cloud service will provide computing and storage facilities through a private network link connected to the EC’s data centres, and will be hosted by a single provider. The public cloud infrastructure will be run over the public internet. And the public platform-as-a-service will include both operating systems and database services run over the cloud.

The first cloud services should appear this year.

Oracle predicts explosion of born-in-the-cloud partners

oracleOracle has claimed that the launch of its new Cloud Programme will see an “explosion” of born-in-the-cloud partners coming to the firm.

Dubbed the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), the programme has launched yesterday and is Oracle’s first cloud-focused partner scheme.

There are four accreditations: Cloud Standard, Cloud Select, Cloud Premier and Cloud Elite.

Cloud Standard requires partners to have a certain cloud specialisation and the benefits are focused on moving these partners to the next level, Cloud Select.

Cloud Select has a $2m cloud-revenue requirement and partners have to designate sales and marketing resources. The benefits of this level include MDF funds, Oracle’s cloud discounts and more visibility at Oracle cloud events.

The Cloud Premier level has a $6m cloud-revenue requirement and partners must have hired number of certified cloud specialists. The benefits include dedicated account managers, sales training and enhanced partner visibility.

The Cloud Elite has a $20m cloud-revenue requirement and for the Global Cloud Elite level this rises to $40m. The benefits include increased go-to-market support with free cloud environments for development tests and demos.

Oracle hopes the programme would help migrate existing partners and attract new types of channel players. It thinks that it opens the partner programme up to the regional “born-in-the-cloud digital natives” that have ruled out Oracle because it did not really fit into their structure.

These cloud resellers are often focused on the mid-market which is not an area Oracle has been involved. Oracle’s not having a cloud programme. But with the OPN programme, and Oracle’s drive into the mid-market, he expects to see a flurry of this new type of partner coming to the vendor.
Oracle has more than 800 UK partners and when asked how many more resellers it wants to recruit more with its new OPN programme.

Oracle adds auto-update

oracleOracle has announced the release and general availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) 4 for the Oracle Linux operating system.

The move is an important selling point for Oracle partners because they can pitch performance improvements and enhancements for some essential components.

Real-time kernel patching was one of the most requested features by Oracle Linux customers and is  possible thanks to the Ksplice open-source extension of the Linux kernel 4 branch,. This lets users apply patches to the running kernel without the need to reboot the system, thus improving security and simplifying the management of cloud infrastructures.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 is now available for the Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 and Oracle Enterprise Linux 7 series of operating systems based on Red Hat’s RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) OS.

“The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the general availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This release, based on the 4.1 mainline kernel, delivers many important new features and enhancements engineered for modern cloud infrastructure,” said Michele Casey.

The update includes CPU schedulers and Automatic NUMA Balancing, along with powerful new features, such as real-time kernel patching.

Oracle boosted the security of its Oracle Enterprise Linux systems, as well as to the hosted apps, by implementing features like a new random number system call, kernel address space randomization, and updates for the SELinux, SHA512, SHA256, and nftables programs.

There are also new real-time kernel features like timerless (tickless) multitasking and deadline scheduling class, support for Firefly-based Ceph Storage for Oracle Linux Release 1.0, Oracle Linux DTrace improvements, and better InfiniBand support. Moreover, there are updates to the Btrfs, EXT4, XFS, NFS, FUSE and OverlafFS filesystem, as well as updated drivers to support new hardware.

Oracle user groups back licensing policy

oracleWhile Oracle has been blasted by the Campaign for Clear Licensing for its Byzantine approach, two Oracle user groups have backed it.

Earlier this week CCL called for the supplier to make its software licensing more cloud friendly and slammed Oracle’s approach to measuring successful software licence sales.

John Matelski,  president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, noted in a blog: “I was extremely surprised and dismayed to learn that there are still those in the customer community that would suggest their relationship with Oracle is predominantly hostile and filled with deep-rooted mistrust – particularly when it comes to licensing and audits.

“Oracle is not just a solutions provider, but rather they are a partner in helping promote the success (or failure) of every organisation they do business with – for me, failure is not an option!”

Debra Lilley, a member advocate and board member of the UKOUG, wrote in a blog post: “Users are very passionate when they feel wronged and immediately after an audit there can be a lot of shouting, and we hear of audits that happen in the last quarter and are then seen as revenue generating.

“The discussions need to be outside actual audits, with less emotion. Oracle License Management Services (LMS) are trying to engage more with customers. Mark Hurd recently talked about employing 10x more staff whose only role is to improve relationships with customers. This is something user groups have asked for repeatedly, so let’s give them the chance to demonstrate the payback to customers.”

 

Salesforce does better than expected

Salesforce_Logo_2009Salesforce has surprised the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street by raising its full-year revenue forecast for the fourth time after reporting a quarterly adjusted profit above market expectations.

As you might expect, the rise in money has been driven by higher demand for its web-based sales and marketing software.

San Francisco-based Salesforce has been benefiting as more businesses choose cheaper and easier cloud software services. The company provides its services online, with no software directly installed on PCs.

The company’s adjusted operating margin expanded to 13.3 percent in the third quarter ended October 31 from 11.3 percent a year earlier.

Salesforce raised its revenue forecast for the year ending January 2016 to $6.64 billion-$6.65 billion from $6.60 billion-$6.63 billion.

Revenue rose 23.7 percent to $1.71 billion in the third quarter. Analysts on average had expected $1.70 billion.

Salesforce has been slowly killing off Oracle and SAP in the customer relationship management software market.

The company’s net loss narrowed to $25.2 million from $38.9 million a year earlier.

 

Oracle’s cloud deals questioned

Pic Mike MageeOracle appears to be forcing corporate clients to buy its cloud products using a complex orchestrated legal maneuver in the dark.

Business Insider claims that Oracle is pressuring some of its customers to add cloud to their contracts that they neither want nor plan to use by using a tactic insiders call “the nuclear option”.

After stuffing up its revenue and profits in the quarter that is traditionally its strongest, Oracle is under pressure. However Oracle’s CEO, Safra Catz, said  analysts blew past its own internal expectations for cloud computing sales. Cloud accounted for about $2.3 billion out of $38.2 billion in revenue.

Chairman Larry Ellison said that was great because every $1 million of cloud contract is worth $10 million over the life of the deal, compared to being worth $3 million for a typical software contract.

But Business Insider claims that Oracle is using its software licences to force customers into these lucrative contracts.

Oracle licenses its software under complex legal conditions. Users have to pay for Oracle software using a variety of metrics such as how many are using the software and which features of the software are being used.

Oracle makes it extremely easy for admins to turn on new features or add more users, and then pay for that increased usage later. That system involves an “audit.”

Much of the time, an audit is used as a sales tactic. Instead of simply paying a big bill, the customer agrees to buy more over the long haul.

If Oracle thinks the customer is really abusing the terms, it whips out the “breach notice,” which warns a customer that they are in violation and must stop using all Oracle software in 30 days.

That’s risky, because it allows the customer to walk away from its Oracle contracts.

They can’t really do that because it can take years to change a database and Oracle is giving them a month or forces them to negotiate.

When they do Oracle says they will have to pay an outrageously high out-of-compliance fine or add cloud “credits” to the contract.

Until this year, Oracle didn’t lightly use the “nuclear option” breach notice but now it is using it even more.

Oracle had an especially good quarter selling cloud in the EU were it was used six times so far in 2015. Business Insider said that it is being used more and more and Oracle is becoming more aggressive

Oracle takes on Rimini Street

oracleOracle has confirmed that its  copyright infringement case against software support services company Rimini Street and the smaller rival’s Chief Executive Seth Ravin will go to trial in September.

Oracle wants more than $200 million in damages and an injunction on Rimini’s current business model.

Oracle had sued Rimini and Ravin in 2010, alleging copyright infringement, computer fraud and related business torts.

A federal judge confirmed the lawsuit for trial on July 1, Oracle said.

The lawsuit alleged that privately held Rimini Street stole copyrighted material using the online access codes of Oracle customers.The US District Court in Las Vegas dismissed in August last year Rimini’s counterclaims against Oracle alleging “defamation and unfair competition.”

Oracle expands cloud offerings

Tcloudhe troubled Oracle outfit has just told its channel partners that it is extending its cloud offerings in a bid to improve its bottom line and see off competition from Amazon.

Executive Chairman Larry Ellison said in a webcast that he wanted to compete with Amazon.com on price.

This was after announcing that Oracle would offer online storage and capability for customers to run their applications entirely in Oracle’s cloud.

This is all pretty new for Oracle, which is shifting its traditional database and customer relationship management businesses to the cloud.

The only problem is that Amazon Web Services is the market leader, followed by Microsoft’s Azure service and Biggish Blue. Oracle is very late to the party which has gone on without it and reached the stage where people are either too drunk to speak or have coupled off.

Oracle has imaginatively dubbed its cloud platform Oracle Cloud Platform, will provide a cost-effective alternative to Amazon, said Ellison.

“Our new archive storage service goes head-to-head with Amazon Glacier and it’s one-tenth their price,” said Ellison.

Oracle’s cloud business is growing quickly, running at a rate of about $2.3 billion a year in revenue, based on last quarter’s figures. However the rest of the company is not doing so well and reported a surprise fall in profits.

Microsoft bids for Salesforce

Microsoft campusMicrosoft is looking at buying Salesforce.

The cloud software provider has been approached by another, unknown, buyer, and told Microsoft, which put in a bid of its own.

Salesforce, which has a market value of almost $50 billion, is working with two investment banks to determine a response to approaches, two of the people said.

It has the option of telling any buyer to go forth and multiply or working out a sale.

Microsoft isn’t in talks with Salesforce, and no deal is going to be quick.  Microsoft  has said that it might compete for Salesforce if it was for sale.

Salesforce shares spiked and were immediately halted for volatility on the news

Salesforce offers a leading position in CRM, software, as well as cloud computing — the delivery of business software and services via the Internet.

Microsoft sells its own customer management software, but lags behind Salesforce.

Microsoft last week set a goal of increasing annual revenue from its commercial cloud business to about $20 billion.

Oracle Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz said  an acquisition of Salesforce would create disruption in the software market.

She declined to comment on whether Oracle was interested in buying Salesforce.

Salesforce was involved in strategic-alliance discussions with SAP last year and SAP has confirmed it is not thinking about a Salesforce bid.

Oracle revenue as flat as a pancake

food-drink_02_temp-1424101497-54e21079-620x348Oracle had a disappointing third quarter with revenue as flat as a Paris supermodel and lower profit as the US dollar strengthened.

To put some shine on the gloom for investors, Oracle raised its quarterly dividend 25 percent to 15 cents a share.

As a result shares of Oracle initially fell but quickly rose 3.3 percent in after-hours trading to $43.20.

The database company reported sales of $9.3 billion, the same as the quarter a year ago. Oracle said revenue for the fiscal third quarter would have risen 6 percent without the impact of unfavorable currency rates.

The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street had expected $9.46 billion.

Oracle has been pressing ahead on its glorious quest to make computers out of clouds.

Oracle said its cloud-computing software and platform service revenue rose 30 percent to $372 million, an area keenly watched by investors as Oracle tries to migrate its business toward a remote, Internet-enabled model.

Analysts say that the plan is turning out OK, and certainly not as bad as they had expected.
Oracle’s net profit fell slightly to $2.49 billion from $2.56 billion in the year-ago quarter.

 

Former HP executive chairman red-faced in dock

HPFormer senior suit at the maker of expensive printer ink, Ray Lane, has admitted to a sex discrimination trial that he made a mistake in judgment involving the harassment of a female venture capitalist .

Lane, who previously served as executive chairman of HP and president of Oracle told the court, in the case connected to his former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, he stuffed up completely.

He should have informed others that Trae Vassallo told him about unwanted advances by her colleague, Ajit Nazre, during a 2011 business trip.

“I made a mistake. It was my mistake. I cared more about her feelings than anything else. I thought it should be her choice whether to tell others at the firm and start an investigation, he said.

Eventually, he would have taken action, but at the time, he suggested to Vassallo that she think it over and discuss it with her husband, in part because he “feared somewhat for her safety”.

The firm did start an investigation after Vassallo told more partners.

Vassallo had complained that Nazre tried to enter her hotel room at night, wearing a bathrobe and, Lane said, holding a glass of wine.

Lane told the court he worried Nazre “could have pushed his way in” and the situation “could have gone in a different direction”.

In the suit, Pao alleges she suffered discrimination and retaliation after Nazre pressured her into an affair in 2006 that she soon ended. The discriminatory conduct eventually spread to other partners, leading her to miss out on a key promotion, she alleges.

After Pao told Lane about the affair in 2007, Lane told her to consider marriage to Nazre, she said in her suit. Lane denied telling Pao to marry Nazre.

Lane said Nazre’s bonus was cut that year as punishment for the affair.

Vassallo, who testified in the case last week, said Lane had told her to be “flattered” by Nazre’s advances.

Lane denied saying that, but an independent investigator hired to look into Nazre’s actions testified that Vassallo had told him Lane did say that, but she believed he was joking.