Oracle product roadmap causing customer concern?

12th Jul 2010

Although Oracle’s fourth quarter financial results may have beaten analysts’ expectations, the software vendor’s failure to clarify its product roadmap is leading to "reticence" among customers to commit to multi-year projects, according to an independent Oracle consultancy.

Oracle saw GAAP revenues grow by 39% to $9.5 billion, while profits rose 25% to $2.4 billion or $0.46 earnings per share (EPS), a rise of 24%. New software licence sales increased by 14% to $3.1 billion, while upgrades and product support revenues grew by 13% to $3.5 billion.

For fiscal year 2010, the vendor likewise turned in a 15% rise in total GAAP sales to $26.8 billion, on net income of $6.1 billion, up 10%. GAAP EPS increased by 11% to $1.21, while new software revenues grew by 6% to $7.5 billion. This figure compared with an 11% jump in upgrades and product support to $13.1 billion.

Oracle’s president Safra Catz estimated that the firm’s Sun Microsystems’ purchase contributed more than $400 million to non-GAAP operating income during the quarter and said that the acquisition was now profitable. As a result, the company was more confident that it would "meet or exceed" its goal for Sun to contribute $1.5 billion to non-GAAP operating income during fiscal 2011 and $2 billion during fiscal 2012, she added.

But despite the positive results, Martin Mutch, chief executive of Oracle consultancy Rocela, warned that "many large enterprise clients are holding back on multi-year investments until Oracle’s product roadmap is clarified.".

This lack of clarification was being further compounded by "client concerns around manageability and increasing volume and complexity of Oracle license grants" he said.

"In our day-to-day advisory engagements with large enterprises, we have seen a reticence to commit to large multi-year Oracle investments – the need for clarity in Oracle’s roadmap is an important factor in their decision-making process," Mutch said.


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