Still, top-line hardware revenues have been in decline. And although the hardware systems business "was very profitable" in fiscal 2012, "the profitability of this business as we measure it did not grow from the prior fiscal year," Oracle said in a recently filed proxy statement. As a result, systems chief John Fowler didn't get a cash bonus, according to the proxy.
Last year, Oracle announced the SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 system. This year, it may feature a sequel to that high-profile release.
The status of Fusion Applications: It took Oracle a bit longer than hoped-for to bring its next-generation Fusion Applications to market, but the suite of ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management), HCM (human capital management) and other software finally became generally available last year.
But Oracle has a number of updates to provide with respect to Fusion, namely the rate of customer adoption and live projects, as well as a public subscription price list for deployments in its recently launched cloud service.
The "top level message" for Fusion Applications will be a "focus on customer adoption and their success," Oracle executive vice president of application development Steve Miranda said during a "Tweet chat" event this week on Twitter.
Miranda also acknowledged the lack of public pricing, which is common among SaaS vendors, but said Oracle's fees are "competitive."
MySQL Connect: Anyone looking for a concrete sense of where Oracle is headed with the development of its open-source MySQL database should attend a joint keynote scheduled for Saturday featuring Tomas Ulin, vice president of MySQL engineering, and Edward Screven, Oracle's chief corporate architect.
The talk will give showgoers a look at "Oracle's MySQL strategy, and the key latest developments including product releases, roadmap and community," according to the event's description.
While many MySQL users expressed fear over the database's future following Oracle's acquisition of previous owner Sun Microsystems, the presence of Screven, a longtime Oracle employee who reports directly to Ellison, could underscore the vendor's commitment to the platform.