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OracleOracle’s latest quarterly results show the increasing strategic of importance of revenue from cloud software and platforms as a service, according to the vendor. Chairman Larry Ellison also claimed the sales figures show Oracle will soon overtake Salesforce as the top selling cloud operator.

The official figures for Oracle’s fiscal 2016 Q1 period show that total revenues were $8.4 billion, which represent a two per cent fall in US dollars but a seven per cent rise in constant currency. Oracle attributed the fall to the current strength of the US dollar.

However, a clearer pattern emerged in the nature of software sales, when benchmarking all sales in US dollars. While revenues for on premise software were down two per cent (in US dollars) at $6.5 billion, the total cloud revenues were up by 29 per cent at $611 million. The revenue from Cloud software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) was $451 million, which represents a 34 per cent increase in sales. Cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) revenues, at $160 million, rose 16 per cent in the same period.

Meanwhile, Oracle’s total hardware revenue figure for the period, $1.1 billion, also indicated a decline, of three per cent. Using the same US dollar benchmark, Oracle’s services revenues for the period more or less stagnated, at $862 million, a rise of one per cent.

Growth is being driven by SaaS and PaaS, according to Oracle CEO Safra Catz. “Cloud subscription contracts almost tripled in the quarter,” said Catz, “as our cloud business scales-up, we plan to double our SaaS and PaaS cloud margins over the next two years. Rapidly growing cloud revenue combined with a doubling of cloud margins will have a huge impact on growth going forward.”

Oracle’s cloud revenue growth rate is being driven by a year-over-year bookings rise of over 150 per cent in Q1, reported Oracle’s other joint CEO Mark Hurd. “Our increasing revenue growth rate is in sharp contrast to our primary cloud competitor’s revenue growth rates, which are on their way down.”

Oracle is still on target to book up to $2.0 billion of new SaaS and PaaS business this fiscal year, claimed executive chairman Larry Ellison. “That means Oracle would sell between 50 per cent more and double the amount of new cloud business that Salesforce plans to sell in their current fiscal year. Oracle is the world’s second largest SaaS and PaaS company, but we are rapidly closing in on number one.”

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