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Oracle catching up on rival SAP

Oracle is upping the pressure on competitor SAP, CEO Larry Ellison claimed, after the company reported strong sales figures in its third quarter.

Oracle is upping the pressure on competitor SAP, CEO Larry Ellison claimed, after the company reported strong sales figures in its third quarter.

Aided by its acquisitions, revenues rose 27% to US$4.4billion for the quarter, above Wall Street expectations.

In January, SAP said it had missed its sales targets for its most recent quarter. SAP had also reported weak licence sales, a key indicator of future revenue prospects.

“We think we have a good chance to catch and pass SAP in the overall applications business,” Ellison told investors.

Oracle said new licence sales in its applications business were up 57% in Q3 and 61% over the past 12 months, a growth rate that it said surpassed SAP’s. “Although SAP is still larger than Oracle in the applications business, we are closing the gap consistently and rapidly,” Oracle president Charles Phillips said.

Oracle will strengthen applications sales by providing more “industry-specific” packages, Ellison said.

The firm also reported strong growth in its middleware business, which it claimed grew 82% in the quarter, making it larger than rival BEA in the sector. In its most recent reported figures, BEA reported quarterly growth of just 8% for its middleware products. “It took us a long time – over five years – to catch and pass BEA, but we did it,” Ellison said.

Ellison also claimed that Oracle’s Enterprise Linux business is doing better than expected, with a number of customers already signed up for support contracts. These include Yahoo, where Oracle says it has replaced Red Hat.

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