* Catz says plays down near-term acquisitions
* Ellison focuses on high-end Oracle hardware
* Execs pitch Oracle as one-stop cloud shop
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 4 Oracle Corp has
all the pieces it needs to compete in cloud computing but is
always interested in looking at compelling M&A opportunities,
Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz told investors.
Speaking at Oracle's annual investor day on Thursday,
co-founder and Chief Executive Larry Ellison also said the
company is near to turning around its struggling hardware
division, talking up Oracle's high-end, proprietary computer
Catz said Oracle is now a one-stop shop for companies moving
to cloud computing, while rivals like Amazon.com and
Salesforce.com each offer some but not all of the
Echoing comments by Ellison to CNBC television earlier this
week, Catz said Oracle has no need for any big acquisitions, but
left the door open.
"You know us, I'm a personal shopper for our CEO. When we
find something that's really compelling that we think we can
make a lot of money for all of you with, we're going to buy it,"
"We don't feel pressed to buy anything. We've got all the
most incredible parts right now," she added.
Ellison was slow to embrace cloud computing, which is a
broad term referring to the delivery of computer services via
the Internet from remote data centers.
But his company is now rushing to promote its own offerings
in the rapidly growing area and has also acquired several firms
selling Internet-based software as its corporate customers
embraced younger cloud rivals including Salesforce, Amazon.com
and Google Inc.
Oracle's strategy is to offer its customers complete
cloud-computing packages, including operating systems, databases
and software, as well as the hardware infrastructure needed to
While high-end computers are key to Ellison's vision, Oracle
has been struggling to turn around its hardware division since
it acquired that business with its 2010 purchase of troubled Sun
Microsystems for $5.6 billion.
Sales have fallen every quarter since Ellison bought Sun,
frequently by a larger margin than the company has forecast.
Oracle blames the unit's troubles on plunging sales of
low-end computer services running other companies' technology,
including Intel's "x86" processors, similar to the
chips that power most PCs.
Ellison, who missed last year's Oracle investor event due to
the death of Apple co-founder and friend Steve Jobs, told
analysts that sales of high-end, higher-margin servers and
storage gear based on Oracle's own technology are about to
overtake sales of those less profitable machines.
This would clear the way for future growth in Oracle's
While Oracle is focusing its proprietary hardware efforts
for now on cutting-edge customers, Ellison said he will
eventually market his proprietary machines more widely.
"We're not just going after the high-end of the computer
market. We're going after the entire computer market, including
rooms full of x86s," he said.
Oracle unveiled a raft of new cloud-oriented products at its
annual users conference this week in San Francisco. They
included an updated version of its top-selling corporate
database along with computers.