Marc Benioff of Salesforce speaks on SaaS cloud growth
Marc Benioff of Salesforce speaks on SaaS cloud growth

Oracle Versus Salesforce: Who’s the Growth Leader in SaaS Clouds?

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Salesforce is the world’s undisputed leader in SaaS revenue and Oracle aspires to be the world’s leading ERP vendor. But which one is growing more rapidly?

Since both recently posted earnings results, we’ve got some fresh data to compare. And while there’s no question that Salesforce and Oracle are focused primarily on different audience sets, it’s always illuminating to see how customers are responding to the top dog (Salesforce) and one of its top rivals (Oracle).

On Dec. 3, Salesforce reported the following results for its three huge CRM-related clouds for its fiscal Q3 ended Oct. 31:

  • Marketing and Commerce Cloud revenue up 32% year over year
  • Sales Cloud up 15%
  • Service Cloud up 24%

On Dec. 12, Oracle reported these results for some of its top SaaS clouds for its fiscal Q2 ended Nov. 30:

  • Fusion apps overall: revenue up “in the low 30’s”
  • Fusion ERP up 37%
  • Fusion HCM up 23%
  • NetSuite ERP up 28%
  • Vertical SaaS up “low double digits”

As we look at these comparative growth rates, it’s important to bear in mind that Salesforce’s SaaS revenue is at least 2X that of Oracle’s and probably closer to 2.5X of Oracle’s.

In spite of that significant disparity in volume, it’s clear that Salesforce is holding its own in continuing to drive growth at impressive rates in the CRM category, which Salesforce says is by far the largest segment in the enterprise space.

Oracle’s clearly looking to become the world’s top provider of ERP applications across on-premises and cloud, where SAP is currently the overall leader by a wide margin. With that focus, the 37% growth rate for Fusion ERP and 28% for NetSuite both indicate significant promise.

And for Oracle, cloud ERP is one of the two product categories on which Larry Ellison says he’s betting his company—the other being the Autonomous Database. (Check out Attack of the Killer Database: Oracle Autonomous DB “Will Replace Everything”.)

Looking ahead, it’s been interesting to see Salesforce extend the boundaries of what it calls “CRM” by getting into the red-hot field of employee experience and launching a new vertical-industry Manufacturing Cloud.

Clearly, with Marc Benioff’s company looking to blow past $20 billion in revenue in 2020, new food sources will be required.

But one area I think Salesforce will probably steer clear of is ERP. My bet is Benioff will leave that one for Oracle and SAP to battle over, as I recently explored in Oracle Against the World: Ellison Trashes SAP & Workday but Grows Only 1%.


Larry Ellison speaks at Oracle Open World
Oracle’s Larry Ellison

Disclosure: at the time of this writing, Oracle was a client of Cloud Wars Media LLC.


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