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Mark Hurd: Oracle’s only objective is to help customers

Anh Nguyen | May 2, 2012
Oracle president Mark Hurd has pledged to “make it easier” for customers to do business with the company.

"For example, with RightNow, we bought a solution we were not building. With Taleo, we bought a recruiting application we weren't building.

"The best way to predict our behaviour would be to look at things that may or may not be on our roadmap, and that is probably where we're looking at," said Hurd.

SaaS opinion

Like other enterprise software giants, Oracle has struggled to adapt to the burgeoning software-as-a-service market. While valuing Oracle's SaaS revenue at $1 billion (£616 million), Hurd admitted its SaaS rivals, such as Netsuite and Salesforce.com, as "still growing".

"When Netsuite was created, it was about software on the internet. The only thing he (company founder and former Oracle employee Zach Nelson) didn't have right was the name - he didn't have SaaS or cloud. He thought it was a big deal, and he was right," Hurd said of the company backed by his boss, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

He was less complimentary about Salesforce.com, the company founded by former Oracle employee Marc Benioff in 1999, with whom Ellison fell out publically at last year's Oracle OpenWorld.

"Salesforce.com doesn't make any money. They just spend money like crazy. At some point, some shareholder is going to ask them 'hey, this thing ever, like, show up with any cash?' I don't know why anyone would buy a stock that doesn't make money," Hurd said.

Unlike most of the SaaS rivals that are snapping at its heels, Oracle undoubtedly makes money and delivers returns for its shareholders. Whether Hurd can convince customers, many of whom were acquired through acquisitions, that he has the balance right between shareholder and client interests, is though a major challenge.

 

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