Oracle's Mark Hurd on SAP, hardware declines, and pure play SaaS vendors

Hurd stressed that he doesn't want anyone to assume that Sunday's announcement was Oracle's first development around in-memory technology.


SAN FRANCISCO -- While his morning keynote session lacked any surprises or announcements, Oracle president Mark Hurd was a little more candid during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Here were some of his more notable moments and responses:

Competing with pure play SaaS vendors: "In HR, we offer several things...As a supplement to that, performance management. It gets integrated back into core HQ. We offer a recruiting app, Taleo…We have succession planning. I could take you through all the modules, but it's a complete suite of HR applications. It's important that those HR applications work with your financial information."

On those cloud apps and Workday: "The benefit that we at Oracle have is that we can work across all of those processes," Hurd asserted, adding that the reason why Workday and announced their partnership last week is that customers want to know if their applications and data will be supported or not. He posited that businesses are thinking about how to work horizontally as well as vertically.

On in-memory and SAP's HANA database: "I don't like it when Exadata or the in-memory option gets compared with SAP HANA because I don't think they're comparable," Hurd defended. "I think it's sort of popular in the way [SAP promotes] it."

However, Hurd stressed that he doesn't want anyone to assume that Sunday's announcement was Oracle's first development around in-memory.

"I would think that if you're an Oracle customer with the Oracle database, the opportunity to simply flip a switch and get the in-memory option with no other change, you're at a huge advantage," Hurd boasted.

On hardware revenue declines: "Our hardware story has a couple of different pieces to it," Hurd responded, acknowledging that the server market is either "flat to down slightly" on a year-over-year basis.

Instead, Hurd deflected the question and highlighted Oracle's first quarter earnings report published last week , defending that sales for Oracle's engineered systems unit were up by sixty percent.

IT economy forecast?: "Our view would be in Q1 of 2013, we grew our software and license business 17 percent," Hurd recalled, continuing on that the plan is to tack on another six percent.

While jumbling between forecasts for different departments over different quarters, Hurd's main point was that it sees itself gaining market share in this space.