Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on cloud growth: Proof is in the numbers

Even if Oracle has no interest in buying Salesforce.com, the database titan still plans to beat the CRM giant on its home turf.

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF.---Even if Oraclehas no interest in buyingSalesforce.com, the database titan still plans to beat the CRM giant on its home turf.

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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd reiterated a promise on Thursday made by Oracle chairman Larry Ellison during the last shareholders conference call to sell more new Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service deals than Salesforce -- the current king of the SaaS market -- this year.

"We like our chances," quipped Hurd while explaining Oracle's cloud strategy at the company's first media day at corporate headquarters.

Following years in development, Oracle's cloud currently stands upon the following four pillars: Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and, most recently, Data-as-a-Service.

Powered from 19 four-tier data centers worldwide, Oracle Cloud sees more than 31 billion transactions per day across more than 40,000 devices and 60 petabytes of storage.

On top of an industry-based approach, Hurd attributed Oracle's cloud growth to "fine-tuning" the sales strategy to be organized by buyer, by product, and in some cases, by competitor. That includes selling to "functional business leaders" throughout the organization rather than just targeting the CIO.

All in all, Oracle's cloud revenue run rate is "well over" $2 billion per year. Hurd boasted that Oracle added more cloud ERP customers last quarter than Workday has total.

Thomas Kurian, president of product development at Oracle, posited that Oracle's cloud business is driven by the belief that there are more people in the world who want to use Oracle software but don't have the resources or skills to operate it.

"Everyone needs to do financial planning and budgets, but not everyone has the IT budgets to manage these systems," Kurian elaborated. "So they have to fall back upon things like spreadsheets."

Looking closer at Oracle Database-as-a-Service as an example, Kurian outlined how ongoing maintenance costs that used to cost approximately $1,550 per core per month now rate about a third less by delivering it through the cloud.

Earlier on Thursday, Oracle CEO Safra Catz, who shares the top space on the leadership pyramid with Hurd, shot down rumors about an Oracle-Salesforce merger following a Bloomberg report on Wednesday suggesting the social enterprise purveyor might be up for sale.