Oracle turning the focus on taking share in the SME market

With the cloud making it easier and cheaper for smaller firms to take advantage of Oracle's ERP and SaaS products the vendor is gunning for some fresh market share

Oracle has talked up its ability to reach smaller customers as a result of the cloud and take market share from some of the SME business intelligence specialists.

The firm has noticed the market for its ERP software open up considerably thanks to the lower costs associated with using the cloud and it could provide the channel with more opportunities to take the Oracle pitch out to a fresh customer base.

"Our ability now to service much smaller customers than we could have serviced in the past is because the cloud allows you to deploy ERP in much, much lower costs. You don't have to have ERP. You don't have to build the data center. Obviously, you don't have to hire programmers. You don't have to hire a bunch of data operations people," said Larry Ellison, chairman and CTO of Oracle, in a conference call with analysts following the vendor's Q3 results.

Ellison added that the available market had at least doubled and he was keen to take a pop at SAP and claim it was not far off taking some of its rival's customers.

Oracle found that around 50% of its customers for ERP in its third fiscal quarter were new and had not purchased from the firm before.

"What happened is our total available market has just become incredibly large. If you looked at the persona of our customers that are in the ERP cloud today, they were not - most of them, more than 50% of them today were not in Oracle ERP customer her before they bought from us. So, I don't think, cash, it's really more of a cycle. I think it's really more of just an inflection point for us in terms of - we're now at a place where we have almost 4,000 customers in ERP SaaS," said Mark Hurd, joint CEO of Oracle.

"Many of our on-prem customers have not moved and yet we're in a position where we can go get a whole set of customers that we never had access to before. Mid-market customers, we can do that globally and we can go now for customers that want to move to a SaaS application in the cloud and get all of those benefits. Frankly, our competitors' user bases have all opened up to us," he added.

Overall the firm reported strong cloud growth in Q3 with revenues in that area and SaaS and PaaS coming in at $1.1m, an 86% year-on-year increase. Total revenue for the quarter was $9.2bn, a 2% improvement and net income improved by 5% to $2.2bn.

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