March 21, 2012

Comments on Oracle’s third quarter 2012 earnings call

Various reporters have asked me about Oracle’s third quarter 2012 earnings conference call. Specific Q&A includes:

What did Oracle do to have its earnings beat Wall Street’s estimates?

Have a bad second quarter and then set Wall Street’s expectations too low for Q3. This isn’t about strong results; it’s about modest expectations.

Can Oracle be a leader in both hardware and software?

Beyond that, please see below.

What about Oracle in the cloud?

MySQL is an important cloud supplier. But Oracle overall hasn’t demonstrated much understanding of what cloud technology and business are all about. An expensive SaaS acquisition here or there could indeed help somewhat, but it seems as if Oracle still has a very long way to go.

Other comments

Other comments on the call, whose transcript is available, include:

1. I first heard Larry Ellison use the joke “They must have a better pharmacist than I do” almost 20 years ago, and his delivery was tighter then. But Mark Hurd’s follow-on shot about not having to stay up late to read HANA loss reports was pretty funny.

2. My real thoughts about Oracle vs. SAP HANA are:

3. Larry also insulted Workday’s database architecture choice, while contrasting it to and praising’s. The only problem is — from the standpoint of what Larry was talking about, those two choices are pretty much the same.

4. Larry’s comments on overall hardware revenue growth boil down to:

The real question is the “differentiated” Sun products. I’m pretty skeptical about those. And if they’re so great, why isn’t the Exastuff more consistently based on that technology?

Specific Oracle financial comments should probably be trusted, including:


5 Responses to “Comments on Oracle’s third quarter 2012 earnings call”

  1. Mark Stacey on March 21st, 2012 4:02 am

    A footnote: Microsoft is moving into the hardware/software space with their “tier 1” appliances – PDW (for all it’s lack of penetration) was the first one of these, and the new “Database Consolidation Appliance” (Also possibly being branded a “Private Cloud Appliance”) is an MS sold “virtualisation appliance”

    I’d expect to see more of these hardware/software combos.

    Exchange on a box for instance

  2. Curt Monash on March 21st, 2012 4:14 am

    When last I heard, Microsoft appliances were like SAP appliances — recommended configurations to be sure, but not hardware they design, manufacture, and sell themselves. Has that changed?

  3. Analyzing Larry Ellison | ServicesANGLE on March 22nd, 2012 12:58 pm

    […] HANA seems to be getting a lot of attention. I was reading Curt Monash who says you are probably right. HANA may never compete with Oracle databases. But what about online […]

  4. Robert Pope on March 23rd, 2012 7:10 pm

    Sun setting at Oracle?
    Catz said on the call to expect Q4/12 hardware system sales in the range of $870m to $980m. In percentage (another) whopping decline of between 15 – 25% compared to Q4/11, down from $1.16bn
    I’d expect it may be last in, first out with Mark Hurd made to walk the plank behind Jeff Epstein & Charles Phillips.

  5. Martzin on March 27th, 2012 2:51 pm

    Staying tuned with vendors plans, I’ve heard quite interesting story from HP manager that HP is/will position Autonomy as a DB of the future, single layer to access unstructured data. Sounds like we would not need centralized database and everything will be based on different data sources. It was also mentioned Porsche as a perfect example and reference.

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