Oracle continues good run in Asia-Pacific

Software giant crosses US$2 billion revenue mark in the Asia-Pacific region, fueled by the strengthening of its applications business.

Fresh from its Siebel acquisition less than a year ago, Oracle has emerged stronger with record revenues in the Asia-Pacific region, a senior company executive says.

Derek Williams, chairman and executive vice president of Oracle Asia-Pacific and Japan, said for fiscal 2006 ended May 31, 2006, the company reported total revenues of US$2.02 billion for the region, up 18 percent from fiscal 2005. "This is the first time our revenues crossed the US$2 billion mark," he said during a conference call with analysts and reporters Tuesday.

Also noteworthy is Oracle's new applications license revenues, which grew by 69 percent for fiscal 2006. This was partly fueled by its strong performance during the fourth quarter, where new license revenues grew by a record 94 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Williams also pointed out that Oracle is growing its applications "faster than SAP in Asia-Pacific". The German rival grew its applications license revenues by 18 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 ended Dec. 31.

Citing market numbers from analyst company IDC, Williams said Oracle is now the market leader in the CRM (customer relationship management) space in the Asia-Pacific region. "The combined revenues of Siebel and Oracle have given us a 17 percent share in CRM," he said.

In contrast, SAP cited, in a statement released Tuesday, a Gartner report that put the German software giant in the pole position for CRM in the region and growing 14.4 percent year-on-year.

Alan Tong, research director of enterprise applications at IDC Asia-Pacific, noted that Oracle's acquisitions have contributed strongly to the company's growth in the region. "In the last 12 months, their acquisitions have beefed up their [industry vertical portfolio], such as supply chain and logistics."

Since its US$5.8 billion acquisition of Siebel last year, Oracle has continued its shopping spree. Early last month, it announced its intention to acquire Demantra, a provider of supply chain applications, for an undisclosed sum. And in April, the company also said it would spend US$220 million to buy Portal Software, which develops applications for the communications and media industries.

Despite a slew of acquisitions, Williams said Oracle is still growing organically, at least in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The acquisitions which we've made have a small market presence in Asia-Pacific by comparison to Oracle. For example, Siebel only had six sales people in China," he said, suggesting that much of Oracle's growth was organic, rather than through acquisitions.

Williams said Oracle will be expanding its operations in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming year, with new offices planned in more than 20 cities.

"We'll continue to invest and increase headcount to take advantage of the market opportunities," he noted.

He also projected that the Asia-Pacific region will continue to have a good run. "Asia-Pacific is growing faster than the rest of the world, which does not have China and India in their economies. I'd expect us to grow faster than the rest of the [Oracle] organization," he added.