In The Press
With his extensive background in technology and leadership of some of the world’s top companies, Mark Hurd has been featured in several major news publications including CNBC, Forbes, and USA Today.
In an in-depth Q&A piece for Forbes BrandVoice, Mark talks with the chief editor of Oracle’s Point publication, Aaron Lazenby, about innovation in the cloud space.
Breaking down the opportunity, Mark explains that the benefits of the cloud are twofold: not only is it innovative, but it significantly cuts costs.
“There’s a lot of pressure on companies to perform,” says Hurd. “Executives need ample flexibility to respond to the market. That means both reducing costs and increasing innovation.”
The innovation in the cloud is continuous, Mark says. Consumers expect immediate gratification, so the ability for the cloud to constantly update features is advantageous on many levels. Catalyzing that innovation is an increase in development and testing, which, Mark predicts, will vastly increase in the next decade as a result of cloud capabilities.
In turn, future CIO responsibilities will shift accordingly. CIOs will become more focused on navigating their enterprises towards lower cost infrastructure, while IT industry leaders consolidate and simplify in the name of cost-efficient innovation.
In a podcast interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Mark discusses Oracle’s decision to transition into cloud computing. Mark claims that you need three things to make this change: a differentiated system, sufficient investments, and patience.
The cloud is the future; it is the fastest growing service in the enterprise industry. To compete with startups, the transition was necessary, but risky, Mark says. During the creation of the cloud product, there could be no sales and thus no income, so it requires both speedy development and the patience to see the return on the investment.
“We made the decision to go at this hard three or four years ago, changing virtually everything in the company,” Mark said. “We made the decision to build all these global data centers, to deploy this technology and to do it fast.”
After shares for Oracle opened at an all-time high at $51.62 in mid-June 2017, Mark joined CNBC’s Squawk Alley to talk about the company. Many consider Amazon to be one of Oracle’s biggest competitors, but Mark notes that they are fundamentally different in their offerings.
“We’re different than Amazon. Amazon offers infrastructure, and they started in infrastructure,” Mark said. “We’re a differentiated intellectual property company. We make applications. We make platforms, databases, Java, business intelligence, analytics, machine-to-machine capability embedded in those applications.”
Mark says it comes down to scale, asserting that Oracle has the most application offerings and in turn reaches a quarter of the world’s infrastructure. The next step is AI.
Joining CNBC’s Squawk Alley, Mark talked about Oracle’s superior offerings compared to Salesforce and Amazon. While Salesforce is scaling up at a faster pace to $10 billion in cloud revenue, Mark exuded confidence that Oracle will far surpass that mark.
“Are we going to stop at $10 billion? Are you kidding? So this is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow and blow way past $10 billion,” Mark said.
Mark also discussed Amazon: given that Amazon built their infrastructure years ago, Oracle can use this information as a competitive advantage, Mark says. This work is paying off, and Oracle recently announced a new partnership with AT&T, moving enormous amounts of data to Oracle’s systems.
In an interview with Jon Swartz at USA Today, Mark speaks about the strengths of Oracle as a cloud computing company. While Oracle came later to the cloud industry, Mark says that the infrastructure they built is fresher than competitors’.
Even amidst heated competition from Amazon and other rivals, Mark is optimistic. “They can say what they want, but our strategy and momentum are irrefutable — we are the fastest-growing cloud company at scale,” Mark said.
The industry’s race for the cloud is in its early days, but it is expected to accelerate in coming years. To keep up momentum and establish their space in the competition, Mark is prioritizing growth, intending to expand its acquisition of cloud start-up NetSuite.