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A Turning Point For Oracle? 4 Takeaways From A Strong Q4

Oracle saw revenue growth for the first time since 2014. Has the company emerged from the dark days of cloud transformation?

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SaaS Is King

Oracle founder Ellison (pictured) often talks about Oracle being the first vendors to have rewritten all its legacy software for the cloud.

In non-GAAP accounting terms, that cloud software business, in Q4, for the first time crossed the threshold of $1 billion in sales. Ellison, true to form, couldn't resist using those results to take some potshots at rival Salesforce.

Oracle, for the second year in a row, sold more recurring revenue than the CRM kingpin, he said and is "on the way" to overtaking Salesforce as the leader in the SaaS market.

Behind his confidence, Ellison says is a simple fact -- Oracle offers software in nine market areas around the broader categories of ERP, HCM and CRM. Salesforce, he said, only competes in three of those areas. And Oracle is the clear leader in cloud-based ERP, which he points out is the largest application market. Not CRM.

Mark Hurd reported that ERP sales were up in the quarter 156 percent organically, meaning NetSuite wasn't included in the tabulation. That gives the business management suite a $1.2 billion run rate. HCM software sales in the cloud grew by 96 percent, and other front-office solutions were up double digits as well, also organically.

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