The Executive Interview series, as part of Tech Investment Insights, provide you with exclusive interviews with newsmakers, industry leaders, and experts in the technology industry.
Interviews do not imply endorsement of the company, its products, or any associated securities. Rather, it is meant to provide you more information for your consideration from those currently directly in the industry itself.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Steve Miranda, the Executive Vice President of Oracle (ORCL) Applications. Miranda oversees the product pipeline for Oracle's applications segment, including strategy, development, and delivery. He joined the company in 1992.
Last year in my first interview with Oracle as part of Tech Investment Insights I chatted with Kyle York, Vice President of Product Strategy for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, on the company's cloud infrastructure operations and the cloud computing sector in general.
Oracle's applications segment remains an essential part of the $177 billion company's business, as in FY 2019 it comprised about 30%, or $11.491 billion, of the company's $39.506 billion in revenue. It also remains a growth spot for Oracle, as it grew in FY 2018 at 11% year-on-year and in FY 2019 at 4% year-on-year in comparison to the infrastructure segment's 3% and 0% year-on-year growth, respectively.
ER: Oracle's Cloud Applications segment is both an area of revenue growth for the company, as well as particularly high margin in comparison to its hardware segments. What is Oracle Cloud Applications segment?
SM: Oracle Cloud Applications is our software as a service (SaaS) portfolio that enables users to subscribe and use software services in the cloud. It is the industry's most complete set of cloud applications and consists of more than 1,100 different modules. We have applications for every business function from finance and HR to supply chain, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and customer service. Our portfolio also includes dedicated applications for industry verticals.
With Oracle Cloud Applications, we help organizations of all sizes solve complex business challenges and achieve immediate business value from emerging technologies, such as AI and machine learning, IoT, and blockchain. As our customers work to outpace change, we strive to always be a step ahead of them by incorporating the latest advancements within Oracle Cloud Applications to make our solutions intuitive and easy to use. Oracle Cloud Applications is built on the very latest cloud platform and infrastructure and delivers transformative experiences for our users across the enterprise.
ER: In FY19 Oracle's cloud applications revenues were a bright growth spot, amounting to $11.49B of Oracle's $39.5B in revenue and a healthy 4% growth. What has led to the success of Oracle's cloud applications?
SM: We are seeing strong growth in our cloud applications business because we offer the most complete suite of cloud applications, the best technology, speed of innovation, and a modern user experience-but most importantly, we put our customers first.
Every day we execute on our customer-first mission by collaborating with them to understand their businesses, provide end-to-end solutions, and help them beat their competitors. This is true for both our greenfield deployments, as well as for our existing customer base, which is moving off of on-premises and into the cloud.
We partner with customers to help them achieve the best possible outcomes with Oracle Cloud Applications. As automation frees employees from some of the mundane and tedious tasks, they are empowered to enact real change within their organizations, be more successful in their jobs, and be prepared to exceed ever-evolving expectations. The unsung heroes become the rainmakers, while the business achieves its peak performance.
This focus on our customer has put us in a position to become the world's largest business applications company. In fact, according to IDC's latest annual market share results, Oracle gained the most market share globally of all Enterprise Applications SaaS vendors three years running-in CY16, CY17, and CY18.
Source: IDC Public Cloud Services Tracker, April 2019. Enterprise Applications SaaS refers to the IDC SaaS markets CRM, Engineering, Enterprise Resource Management (including HCM, Financial, Enterprise Performance Management, Payroll, Procurement, Order Management, PPM, EAM), SCM, and Production and Operations Applications.
ER: What are some of the standout business lines and products within Cloud Applications? Who has been the most fruitful customer base and why?
SM: Organizations of all sizes are increasingly looking for an integrated suite of applications instead of point solutions.There is a strong movement by both our on-premises install base and our 'new to applications' logos to transition to and adopt our SaaS solutions.
One area that has been particularly successful is our Fusion Applications for finance, supply chain, and manufacturing(Oracle ERP Cloud), a part of our Oracle Cloud Applications suite. Our largest customers have gained confidence by seeing the success of other large organizations, including Oracle, running their businesses in the cloud. We are extremely confident about showing organizations of all size show we can run their business successfully in the cloud today.
We are also seeing strong adoption of Oracle ERP Cloud across many industries including financial services, high technology, communications, healthcare, manufacturing (including automotive), retail, professional services, and higher education. All in all, more than 6,000 organizations in 112 countries and 23 industries have selected Oracle ERP Cloud to provide a complete, innovative, and secure platform to run their business. In the last year alone, customers including L.A. Lakers and Mount Sinai Health System have moved from competitor ERP systems to standardize on Oracle cloud.
ER: Oracle advertises its cloud applications as "future proof." What does this mean?
SM: In my conversations with customers, they almost always talk about change. Change is not unusual, but its impact is growing. We see our role as helping organizations future proof their business against all this change.
To elaborate, we are seeing accelerating business and technology change. Examples of business change include the explosion of new business models as organizations shift from a product to a service company and the move to branch out to serve new customers. Examples of technology change include emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and growing security and cybersecurity threats.
With Oracle Cloud Applications, our goal is to help customers see this change as an opportunity. We do this by preserving their existing IT investments and enabling them to quickly and easily take advantage of the latest innovations.
To ensure our customers get the most out of their technology investments, Oracle Cloud Applications provides continuous product updates, based on immediate and precise feedback loops, which customers can enable at the best time for their unique business needs. This enables customers to minimize business disruption and achieve immediate business results.
To help our customers seamlessly take advantage of the latest innovations, Oracle Cloud Applications includes pervasive machine learning capabilities. These capabilities are infused within familiar user interfaces and business workflows. They enable customers to realize quick value from artificial intelligence, conversational interfaces, natural language processing, blockchain, and IoT and to stay ahead of rapidly changing expectations and business demands.
ER: Where does Oracle see its cloud applications going from here? What is the vision and goal in both the short and longer run?
SM: We see huge potential growth for Oracle Cloud Applications because many organizations are still in the early stages of replacing their on-premise systems with the latest cloud technologies.
As we move forward, our mission remains the same for both the short and longer term-to put our customers first by collaborating with them to understand their businesses, provide end-to-end solutions, and help them beat their competitors. We will do this by focusing on five key areas:
1. Our customers experience: We are committed to partnering with our customers to tackle their most complex challenges, help them run their operations, and help them achieve the best business outcomes.
2. Most complete suite of apps: We don't want our customers to have to compromise by choosing between breadth and depth. That's why we are committed to providing one, integrated, best-of-breed applications suite, which brings teams together, creates a single source of truth, leverages data to its fullest, and drives end-to-end business innovation.
3. Best technology: We want to help our customers eliminate IT complexity so they can focus on what matters to their business. This means providing our customers with bullet-proof security, high-end scalability, mission-critical performance, and strong integration capabilities. We don't want our customers to have to worry about how it all works.
4. Fastest innovation: We want to help our customers stay ahead of constant business and technology changes. To do this we will send continuous product updates to keep our customers ahead of the latest innovation cycle. We've also infused the suite with AI/ML capabilities.
5. Modern UX: We want to make using enterprise technology as engaging and intuitive as possible. No matter the device, we deliver a simple yet powerful user experience. And across the organization structure, everyone gets a unified experience, which can be personalized.
ER: What are the most important innovations you see happening right now in the cloud applications space and where are these trends heading? How does Oracle hope to stand out among the many competitors in the cloud space?
SM: There are a number of important innovations happening right now in the cloud applications space: Emerging technologies such as machine learning, IoT, and blockchain; security; new types of automation; and shifts from point solutions to suites.
I constantly hear from different customers that they are either being disrupted, afraid of being disrupted, or have an opportunity to be the disruptor. In all those conversations, it's about changing the business model. In combination with that, we have an unprecedented speed of technology change.
In the 26 years I have been at Oracle we've gone from character mode to client server to Internet to cloud-deployed applications-roughly speaking, one pretty significant change every six years. Now, we're talking about machine learning, bots, IoT, potentially blockchain, and conversational user interface. It's an exciting time in the cloud applications space.
With Oracle Cloud Applications, we are focused on helping our customers turn constant change into an opportunity by ensuring that everything we do is customer first. To deliver on that mission, we are committed to providing the most complete set of cloud applications in the industry, the best technology, rapid innovation, and the industry's best user experience.
We believe that focus and commitment puts us in a unique position to help organizations of all sizes capitalize on accelerating business and technology change and will continue to set Oracle Cloud Applications apart from the competition.
Explore other segments of Tech Investment Insights' Executive Interview series below:
This interview was originally published on Seeking Alpha as part of Tech Investment Insights.