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March 20, 2012

Oracle Losing Ground as More Companies Move onto Cloud

Longstanding IT icon, Oracle (News - Alert), is reportedly losing ground in the market as companies shift from on-premise infrastructure to cloud computing.

Salesforce has made significant gains in the past few months, as more organizations choose cloud-based services over physical IT infrastructure solutions, Bloomberg (News - Alert) Business Week reported.

Companies as diverse as Bayer AG, Zynga Inc. and Hewlett- Packard “have opted in recent months for Salesforce over Oracle, evidence of shifting loyalties in the $113.8 billion business-applications market,” the report said.

In the latest blow to Oracle, Activision Blizzard Inc. opted Salesforce over Oracle when the video game giant needed new software to help field questions from users about its “Call of Duty” shooter franchise, among other games, according to Bloomberg.

The company wanted applications delivered over the Internet and stored in the cloud, rather than on its own servers, Activision Chief Information Officer Robert Schmid said in the report.

Industry analysts said that Salesforce.com (News - Alert) and Workday are getting more marketshare due to Oracle’s “eroding” application maintenance stream.

“That’s what’s really giving Oracle a run for their money,” Brad Zelnick, an analyst at Macquarie Capital in New York, told Bloomberg. In January, Zelnick downgraded Oracle’s stock to neutral.

Workday, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based maker of web software, helps companies manage human resources and finances. In October 2011, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) operatorclosed $85 million in new funding. Workday was founded by Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri in 2005 to offer a cloud alternative for mid- and large-sized enterprises saddled with on-premise deployments of legacy software.

Salesforce.com share prices have moved between a 52-week high of $160.12 and a 52-week low of $94.09, and are now trading 59 percent above that low price at $149.94 per share, according to a SmarTrend stock analyst.

As part of its recent buying spree, Oracle completed the $1.5 billion acquisition of RightNow Technologies (News - Alert), Inc., a provider of cloud-based customer service, in January.

“Oracle is moving aggressively to offer customers a full range of cloud solutions, including sales force automation, human resources, talent management, social networking, databases and Java as part of the Oracle Public Cloud,” said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development, announcing the purchase last October. “RightNow’s leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle’s Public Cloud.”

 “RightNow’s cloud offering is a complementary addition to Oracle’s Public Cloud,” Kurianreportedly told customers and partners.  

The Redwood City, CA (News - Alert)-based Oracle is expected to announce its third quarter earnings after the close of the market on March 20, and will host a conference call and live webcast at 2 p.m. PT to discuss the financial results. The webcast will be available on the Oracle Investor Relations website at www.oracle.com/investor.




Edited by Braden Becker
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