Oracle Corp (US)

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Oracle is the world's second biggest software company after Microsoft, and its founder and guiding light Larry Ellison ranks just behind Microsoft's Bill Gates among the leading gurus of the IT industry (as well as being one of the world's richest men). Oracle markets a wide range of enterprise software products which allow big corporations, institutions and governments to manage information, as well as their finances, human resources, order management, supply chains and other disciplines. It now offers most of its main services via the cloud. As a result of the sheer variety of solutions it offers, Oracle's 430,000 or so customers include all of the Fortune 100 biggest global companies. It has been one of the most acquisitive companies in the industry, buying well over 100 different businesses since 2004, mostly mid-sized deals at under $10bn each. Only one has so far exceeded that figure, Peoplesoft, added in 2005 for $10.3bn. In 2009 the company agreed to acquire server and software group Sun Microsystems, also the developer of programming language Java, for around $7.4bn. Planning software NetSuite was added in 2017 for $9.1bn. As a result of these bolt-ons, Oracle is the only company strong in all three enterprise software disciplines: databases, business management applications, and the software used to make all these diverse products work together harmoniously, known as middleware. Some of Oracle's services are very specific, for example, the Oracle Marketing Cloud, designed specifically for big companies' marketing departments. This is an area Oracle has gradually expanded, pushing aggressively into marketing analytics and effectiveness measurement though purchases such as DataLogix in 2014 and Moat in 2017. Other subsidiary brands under the Oracle banner include WebLogic, Siebel and JD Edwards as well as database platform MySQL. Group revenues peaked in ye 2014 at a best-ever $38.3bn, but have been weaker since then, partly as a result of currency fluctuation. The reported figure for ye 2017 was $37.7bn. Profits too remain well below 2014 levels. Nevertheless, investors continue to rate the group highly, pushing its share price up to record levels in 2017. Software accounts for 80% of sales. Larry Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 but remains Oracle's chairman, chief technology officer and controlling shareholder. Former HP CEO Mark Hurd and longtime Ellison lieutenant Safra Catz moved up to become co-CEOs. Adbrands no longer profiles this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Capsule checked 27th October 2017

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Dec 2014: Business software giant Oracle acquired data analytics firm Datalogix for an undisclosed amount, rumoured to be in the region of $500m. The purchase will expand Oracle's marketing-related offering. Datalogix analyses and audits the results of marketing campaigns, comparing advertising expenditure against subsequent purchasing. Two key clients are Facebook and Google, who employ Datalogix to demonstrate the effects of online advertising. The company also works for Ford and Kraft, among others.

Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Sept 2014: Larry Ellison, founder of corporate software giant Oracle is to step down as CEO in favour of current co-presidents Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, who move up to become co-CEOs. However the 70 year-old Ellison will barely reduce his hands-on involvement in the business. He will take over the roles of chairman and chief technology officer, and remains Oracle's controlling shareholder (and as a result, the world's 5th wealthiest individual). 

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Jun 2014: Business software giant Oracle agreed to buy Micros Systems, a developer of retail and hospitality software, for $5.3bn, its biggest purchase since the $7.4bn it paid for Sun in 2010.

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