Cloud is poised to pass new software license revenue for Oracle, the company said in its quarterly earnings call.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

March 15, 2017

3 Min Read
Oracle's Cloud Transition Pays Off

Oracle, like most mature enterprise vendors, is struggling to make the transition to cloud. But Oracle said Wednesday it has turned the corner.

"Our pivot to cloud is now clearly in full swing," said Oracle Corp. CEO Safra Catz on a call discussing Oracle's third-quarter 2017 earnings on Wednesday.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) is seeing revenue increases from cloud overtaking declines in new software licenses, and next year cloud revenue will be bigger than new software license revenue, Catz said. The company expects its business to return to the growth it saw in the previous decade.

That comes as Oracle's competitors' growth is slowing, Catz notes. She didn't name names -- but Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) growth lost momentum in the last financial quarter, even as its increases continued to be impressive. (See AWS Growth Slows, But Amazon's Still Killing It in Cloud.)

Oracle's non-GAAP total revenues were $9.3 billion for the quarter, up 3% in US dollars. Cloud revenue was up 62% in the same period. Total 3Q cloud revenue was $1.2 billion, comprising 13% of total company revenue, compared with $735 million, or 8% of total company revenue in the year-ago quarter.

Figure 1: Flying High Photo: D. Miller Photo: D. Miller

The total cloud business reached the $5 billion annual run rate mark, Oracle says.

New software license revenue was $1.4 billion, a little more than cloud revenue, for 15% of total revenue. New software license revenue share of total revenue is declining; revenue was $1.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, declining 16% year-over- year. And new software licenses comprised 18% of total revenue in the third quarter of last year.

Non-GAAP SaaS and PaaS revenues were $1.1 billion, up 85% year-over-year in US dollars.

Non-GAAP net income was $2.9 billion, up 6% in US dollars, and non-GAAP earnings per share was $0.69, up 7% in US dollars.

Oracle beat analyst expectations of 62 cents a share on revenue of $9.26 billion.

The company traded at $45.44 up 5.55% after hours Wednesday.

No story about Oracle's cloud strategy is complete without mentioning Larry Ellison's previous cloud skepticism. In 2008 remarks to analysts, Ellison called the cloud "nonsensical" and "complete gibberish," and said articles about cloud computing are "crap."

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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