Oracle's Q4 results: What to watch

Software revenue growth, Fusion apps uptake and the travails of Oracle's business may get some scrutiny

By , IDG News Service |  Software

Oracle has said there are more than 400 Fusion customers, but many observers will be looking for an updated figure, as well as some color regarding how many have gone live, compared to ones in mid-implementation, and which types of modules they are choosing.

Cloud clout: While cloud-based software revenue remains a very small percentage of Oracle's overall revenue, one thing to listen for is whether Ellison and crew announce any customer wins in SaaS that involve global deployments. Competitors such as Workday, which Oracle competes with in HCM (human capital management) and financials software, have been able to raise eyebrows with a series of mega-deals. If Oracle can do the same it will provide more validation for its cloud offerings, as well as bragging rights.

Tracking database 12c: Oracle had been expected by now to announce the general availability of its next-generation 12c database. While earlier this year, word leaked that beta testing had been completed on 12c and a release was imminent, no announcement has been made. It's not outside the realm of possibility that Ellison will make such an announcement during the call as Oracle begins a new fiscal year.

Trash talk targets: Ellison in particular tends to dish out plenty of competitive trash talk during earnings calls, with Salesforce.com and Workday often receiving the brunt of it. Such banter is to be expected. But in Oracle's case, the target chosen is telling, usually being "the company they're most worried about," said Forrester Research analyst China Martens.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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