CEO Mark Hurd wants Oracle to dominate corporate SaaS market, overtake Microsoft and Salesforce.com in market share
Today, Oracle is best described as an “up and comer” in the cloud computing market. The world’s second-largest software company is late to the cloud computing infrastructure and software game, but that’s not dampening its ambitions. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, CEO Mark Hurd said Oracle is setting its sights to command more than 50 percent of the commercial cloud applications market.
The Lowdown: Hurd gave few indications how Oracle would grow its existing and lagging SaaS market share. He also didn’t give any time lines for when Oracle would achieve the 50 percent market share milestone.
The Details: While companies like Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Google, and IBM dominate discussions about commercial cloud-based applications, Hurd points out that none actually has more than a fraction of the total addressable market. According to IDC, Microsoft led the SaaS market in 2017 with an 18 percent share. Salesforce.com ranked second with 11.5 percent. And Adobe, which converted its entire portfolio to cloud-based applications in 2015, held around 7 percent. Oracle’s SaaS market share stood at 4.9 percent, just slightly ahead of SAP and Google.
The Impact: Without specifics, the impact of Hurd’s stated goal is difficult to quantify. A tenfold increase in market share would require substantial growth through organic sales expansion, aggressive channel programs, and acquisitions. Of the three growth paths, acquisitions are the most disruptive as they would require Oracle to make a series of big buys that would reshape and transform the cloud vendor and channel landscape.
Background: Hurd and Oracle founder Larry Ellison aren’t shy about stating cloud ambitions or challenging competitors. A favorite target is Salesforce.com, which was founded by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff. The relationship between Oracle and Salesforce.com is apt in describing Oracle’s position in the cloud market. When Benioff started Salesforce.com in 1999, Ellison believed the Internet would be a distribution mechanism for on-premises software. While Oracle pushed its software and hardware, acquired from Sun Microsystems, others – Salesforce.com, Workday, Google, SAP, and Microsoft – built thriving cloud businesses. Today, Oracle claims $11 billion in cloud revenue, but that includes software and hardware sold into the cloud market.
The Buzz: “Today, there’s no one with more than 50 percent. In fact, the highest application percentage of any company in any segment is sort of mid-20s,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “This generation will see a leader that’s much more material than that, and I volunteer us to do it.”