Oracle just reported a fairly solid third-quarter revenue, which fell short of Wall Street’s expectations basically because of the same foreign exchange rate problems that’s been hurting all the big multinational companies.
The interesting thing is how co-founder, CTO, and chairman of the board Larry Ellison used the earnings press release to throw cold water at one of the company’s rivals, Salesforce, saying Oracle’s cloud is selling as well, or maybe better than, Salesforce’s.
We are well on our way to selling over $US1 billion of new SaaS and PaaS business in calendar 2015. Salesforce.com has announced that it also expects to add about $US1 billion of new SaaS and PaaS business this year. So it’s going to be a close race who sells more in the cloud this year, us or them. Stay tuned.
It’s pretty rare that one company mentions a competitor by name in an earnings press release. Most competitive trash talk happens with analysts on the earnings conference call after the release.
But Ellison seemed to be eager to respond to some trash dished at Oracle by Salesforce cofounder and CEO Marc Benioff last month, during his company’s record-breaking earnings.
These two companies have a complicated relationship. Salesforce cofounder Benioff studied at Ellison’s knee becoming its youngest executive at the time. When he left to found Salesforce, he did it with Ellison’s blessing and seed money. Salesforce is still a huge customer of Oracle’s database.
But then the two companies began to compete head on and these two strong willed leaders began to butt heads in public. In 2013, it looked like they were making amends and announced a big partnership deal where Salesforce agreed to buy a bunch of Oracle tech.
But things have been devolving, again. Talking to analysts on Salesforce’s last earnings call, Benioff slammed Oracle (and SAP), making fun of the name of its home-grown cloud product. Oracle calls the product “Fusion” and on the call, Benioff called it “confusion.”
So, like we said, Ellison didn’t even wait for the call to start trash talking Salesforce.
Regardless of the fighting, both companies seem to be doing quite well, with their stocks recently hitting all-time highs.