One of the most competitive, publicized, and future-facing in the market revolves around data, and what to do with it. One acronym that has been put out there is MAD, or Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Infrastructure. This industry revolves around storing, accessing, and analyzing the endless amount of data that is now being generated by nearly all entities around the world. Due to the sheer size and relatively young age of the industry, there are not many public companies that exist, but the ones that target this industry are fierce competitors.
For this analysis, I will use the twelve companies outlined in a recently published Houlihan Lokey insight report on the industry. They cover just a tiny fraction of the entire market, but are keenly focused MAD. Remember, names like Amazon’s AWS (AMZN), Microsoft’s Azure (MSFT), and Google’s Cloud (GOOG) are all major entities in the field as well, but the investments are far broader in scope. However, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) now fits the bill as the best investment for wide exposure to the industry.
While there are certainly merits to diversification of your investments, this article will instead focus directly on the industry. Feel free to discuss your other favorite public, or still private, companies in the comments. I, for one, am waiting for the MariaDB IPO (POND). Anyway, the companies are as follows, in ascending EV/2022E Sales multiple:
Sumo Logic (SUMO)
As you can see, the list of companies are all quite different in terms of size, valuation, growth, and capabilities. Some are focused on the data side of the equation, while others focus on the analytics and visualization. However, Oracle is one of the most diversified entities across the sector with capabilities in providing data management services, integrated software suites (so users can access the many other companies in the industry), search analytics, and nearly every area. The image below highlights just simple coverage of the complex industry, and I highlighted the companies this research will address.
While we could spend weeks discussing the qualitative intricacies of every company and how they have the potential for further value, we can see there are some patterns that are noticeable from financial statements. Recently, valuations in the industry were primarily determined by revenue growth and outlook, although the effect is lessening in 2022. As in the two charts below, we can see that ultra-growth peer Snowflake continues to hold on to the highest EV/Sales multiple, but 40% revenue growth rate Alteryx is closing in on the same valuation as Oracle who is expected to have 10% growth in 2022.
The data is clear, investors are now applying increased valuation to companies with high profitability as economic uncertainty weighs on the outlook of unprofitable companies. This change in valuation leadership, led by Oracle, is one of the key factors that allow Oracle to remain the best choice moving into far weaker economic conditions over the coming quarters or years. However, it is important to note that other fairly profitable firms such as Teradata, Palantir, Splunk, or Informatica, may seem to offer a better growth to value proposition, but I will highlight how that may be a mistake to rely on.
The tradeoff between growth and profitability is a difficult area to tread, and management in the past have had to choose either one or the other. Then, starting the mid-part of the 2010s, investors began using a new metric to value companies: the Rule of 40. I am sure my readers are familiar with this modern metric, but I will provide a summary by the consultants Bain:
The Rule of 40—the principle that a software company’s combined growth rate and profit margin should exceed 40%—has gained momentum as a high-level gauge of performance for software businesses in recent years, especially in the realms of venture capital and growth equity. Increasingly, software industry executives are embracing the Rule of 40 as an important metric to help measure the trade-offs of balancing growth and profitability.
Management at software firms are now able to prove to investors that there is some value in low profitability, as long as growth is elevated enough. Although, growth rates can change in a flash and lead to sharp declines in valuation. At the same time, slow growers like Oracle can also meet the rule but offer far less volatility.
The two charts below highlight the power of the Rule of 40 when measured for our select group of companies. When valuing the group from only a revenue growth to value standpoint, Oracle looks extremely weak, but when looking from the Rule of 40, Oracle is the clear winner. Perhaps a bargain for the price. The only other companies meeting the Rule of 40 are Snowflake, Alteryx, and Palantir, so we will now narrow our focus moving forward.
The above charts are quite interesting because they allow investors to easily assess relative valuations. In the case of Snowflake, they may beat the Rule of 40, but fail to provide a reason to support a 4- to 5-fold increase in valuation compared to the other peers who meet the Rule of 40. This is important because apart from business growth, valuation will play an important role in the future returns. As Snowflake is not yet profitable, any slowdown in growth will cause them to no longer pass the rule, and this is quite possible as shown in data provided by Bain.
As stated, it is hard for a company to revive growth to high levels, and it is unknown whether Snowflake can increase profitability in-turn. Therefore, I believe that while Snowflake does dominate the industry, offers a compelling package and opportunity, and is growing at a supremely fast rate, the current valuation leaves little room for weak economic conditions.
For Oracle, the Rule of 40 has provided significant returns for investors even as growth is nearly flat over the past decade. Slow and steady wins the race, and Oracle is slightly less expensive right now than their historical average valuation. As such, the opportunity is clear, despite continued worries about growth or competition. For others such as Alteryx and Palantir, the story is a bit less clear as AYX faces volatile growth and Palantir faces intense scrutiny by the market. However, both of their opportunities may be greater than Snow due to the current valuations.
To conclude, I will highlight the primary reason why Oracle may continue their dominance moving forward: profitability is the key to mature growth. There are multiple issues that excess profitability can solve, including R&D spending, bolt-on acquisitions, and investing in shareholder returns. Some recent examples include the development of MySQL to out-compete Amazon Redshift/Aurora and Snowflake, while at the same time being integrated into AWS. Also, there was the acquisition of Cerner to expand further into healthcare data services.
After that there is still plenty of money being put into dividends and share buybacks, one of the reasons for the strong price performance over the past decade, regardless of revenue growth. Will Snowflake be able to survive the same weakness? Just look at the price chart of Splunk to see what high revenue growth (30%+ per year CAGR), but perpetually falling valuation can result for shareholders.
As the market continues to expect pain moving forward, I believe that extremely profitable Oracle will be able to survive. More speculative and overvalued names such as Snowflake may have inertia, but will face severe drops in valuation if growth slows down slightly. As such, I suppose investors will fare better accumulating Oracle over time, and if the weight in your portfolio gets high enough, use your profits to take a gamble on a speculative name, but when the opportunity looks far more favorable than right now.
Depending on how things turn out over the next few months, perhaps speculative names are beat up enough to find some value, but keeping money in a more safe option like Oracle until then may be best. I hope this article highlights the opportunity, but the decisions remain with you.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your insights below.
A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Oracle (ORCL). Shares have lost about 17.9% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Oracle due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.
Oracle reported first-quarter fiscal 2023 non-GAAP earnings of $1.03 per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings by 3.74%. The bottom line remained unchanged year over year (up 8% at constant currency or cc).
Management had guided non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) to grow in the range of 1-5% year over year at cc and be in the band of $1.04-$1.08 per share.
Revenues increased 18% (up 23% at cc) year over year to $11.44 billion but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.2%. The top-line performance was mainly driven by strength in the cloud business.
For the fiscal first quarter, Oracle had anticipated total revenues to grow in the range of 17-19% year over year at USD and 20-22% at cc.
Oracle’s Cloud services and license support revenues (73% of total revenues) in the reported quarter increased 14% year over year (up 20% at cc) to $8.41 billion. The upside can be attributed to continued strength in the Fusion, Autonomous Database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (“OCI”) services.
Breakup of Cloud Services & License Support Revenues
Applications revenues (contributed 47.7% to total cloud services and license support revenues) amounted to $4.01 billion, up 32% year over year (up 37% at cc).
Infrastructure-related revenues (52.3% of total cloud services and license support revenues) were $4.4 billion, up 2% on a year-over-year basis (up 7% at cc).
Cloud license and on-premise license revenues (8% of total revenues) increased 11% year over year (up 19% at cc) to $904 million.
Hardware revenues (7% of total revenues) were $763 million, which remained unchanged year over year, (up 5% at cc).
Services revenues (12% of total revenues) rose 74% (up 84% at cc) to $1.36 billion.
Revenues from the Americas (representing 62.8% of total revenues) increased 35.2% year over year to $7.192 billion.
Revenues from Europe/Middle East/Africa (23.5%) declined 3.3% from the year-ago quarter figure to $2.69 billion.
Revenues from the Asia Pacific (13.6%) declined 3.8% from the year-ago quarter level to $1.856 billion.
Management noted that the strategic back-office cloud applications business increased 33% at cc and now has $5.8 billion in annualized revenues. Management noted that revenues from Fusion ERP, Fusion HCM and NetSuite ERP were up 38%, 26% and 30%, respectively.
Consumption revenues for OCI services, which include Autonomous Database, soared 103% at cc. Cloud customer consumption revenues increased 92% year over year.
Additionally, the company is witnessing strong growth in Cloud HCM, which is increasingly being purchased as part of the company’s ERP cloud application suite. Further, the migration of several large-scale SAP customers to Fusion ERP cloud and Fusion HCM remains a tailwind.
Expanding clientele is enabling the company to maintain its leading position in the cloud ERP market. Management is optimistic regarding the latest Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP, HCM and EPM applications.
The next-generation autonomous database launched by Oracle, supported by ML, is witnessing steady traction. New product introductions, including new OCI managed services, are likely to boost growth in this category. The autonomous database in Gen2 public cloud infrastructure is witnessing a healthy uptake.
Oracle’s latest Exadata Cloud@Customer service offering is gaining traction among on-premise customers. The latest wins include Deutsche Bank, City of Atlanta and State of Kansas.
Some noteworthy deal wins for OCI during the reported quarter are ABN AMRO, Generalli, Data Intensity and Informatica among others.
Non-GAAP total operating expenses increased 8% year over year (up 11% at cc) to $6.25 billion.
Non-GAAP operating income during the reported quarter was $5.59 billion, up 3% year over year (up 8% at cc).
Non-GAAP operating margin contracted 123 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis to 47%.
As of Aug 31, 2022, Oracle had cash & cash equivalents and marketable securities of $10.44 billion compared with $21.8 billion as of May 31, 2022.
Operating cash flow and free cash flow for the trailing 12 months ended Aug 31, 2022 amounted to $10.54 billion and $5.37 billion, respectively.
Share Repurchases & Dividends
Oracle repurchased 7.5 million shares, worth approximately $599 million, during the fiscal first quarter.
The board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.32 per share of outstanding common stock. This dividend will be paid out to stockholders of record, after the close of business on Oct 12, 2022, with a payment date of Oct 25, 2022.
For second-quarter fiscal 2023, total revenues, including Cerner, are expected to grow between 21% and 23% in cc and 15% and 17% in USD.
Total cloud growth, again including Cerner, is expected to grow in the range of 46% to 50% in cc and 42% to 46% in USD.
Non-GAAP EPS is expected to grow 1% to 5% and be between $1.23 and $1.27 in constant currency due to currency headwinds. Non-GAAP EPS is expected to decline 1% to 5% and be between $1.16 and $1.20.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
It turns out, fresh estimates have trended downward during the past month.
The consensus estimate has shifted -8.93% due to these changes.
At this time, Oracle has a strong Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. It's no surprise Oracle has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.
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WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Thursday it will postpone the rollout of a troubled computer system it has been testing in Spokane for the past two years and will notify more than 40,000 veterans in the Inland Northwest, Oregon and Ohio that their treatment may have been delayed by problems with the system.
The new electronic health record system, developed by Oracle Cerner under a $10 billion contract to replace the VA’s existing system, had been scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2023 at hospitals in Western Washington, Michigan and Ohio, but those and all other deployments have been pushed back to at least June , the department said in a news release.
“Right now, the Oracle Cerner electronic health record system is not delivering for Veterans or VA health care providers – and we are holding Oracle Cerner and ourselves accountable to get this right,” VA Deputy Secretary Donald Remy said in the release, adding that the system’s rollout would be delayed “while we fully assess performance and address every concern.”
The system, which VA employees rely on to track patient information and coordinate care, was first launched at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center and its associated clinics across the Inland Northwest in October 2020. After multiple delays prompted by patient safety risks caused by the system, the department deployed it in March in Walla Walla; in April in Columbus, Ohio; and in June in Roseburg and White City, Oregon.
On Tuesday, in response to questions from The Spokesman-Review, the VA confirmed it was aware of the death in late September of a patient at the VA clinic in Columbus, Ohio. That incident is being treated as a potential “sentinel event,” a designation that prompts an investigation to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
“Patient safety is VA’s top priority, and we are currently investigating to determine the root cause of this incident and get to the bottom of it,” VA spokesman John Santos said in a statement. “Our sincerest condolences go to the family and friends of this Veteran.”
In an email sent to all clinicians at Mann-Grandstaff on Oct. 7 and obtained by The Spokesman-Review, the hospital’s assistant chief of pharmacy, Sharon Oakland, attributed the sentinel event in Columbus to a patient not receiving a medication due to incorrect information in the Oracle Cerner system. “This is one more example,” she wrote in the email, of how the VA facilities using the new system are relying on “hypervigilance on everyone’s part to work within Cerner.”
After a leaked report by the VA Office of Inspector General in June revealed nearly 150 cases of harm linked to the Oracle Cerner system, VA Secretary Denis McDonough hit the brakes on deployments planned for last summer in Seattle, Tacoma and Boise while the department investigated safety risks reported by health care providers.
Shereef Elnahal, the VA’s under secretary for health, said in an interview with The Spokesman-Review on Wednesday that the department’s findings prompted it to send letters to veterans whose medications, appointments, referrals or test results may have been delayed due to problems with the new system.
“Unfortunately, we discovered that safety concerns were voluminous enough and prevalent enough throughout the system that we had to disclose to 41,500 veterans that their care may have been impacted as a result of the system’s deployment as it is currently configured,” Elnahal said.
The affected veterans were identified through a review by VA patient safety experts and data provided by Oracle Cerner on all patients enrolled at the hospitals and clinics where the system has been deployed in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Ohio, Elnahal said. That group of roughly 41,500 patients represents a minority of the veterans enrolled for care at the facilities using the new system.
The VA began mailing the letters Wednesday and all of the affected veterans should receive them within about two weeks.
Soon after Elnahal started his job in July, becoming the first Senate-confirmed head of the Veterans Health Administration since 2017, he met with employees on Sept. 9 at the VA clinic in Columbus, Ohio, where the Oracle Cerner system was launched in April. The most concerning pattern he saw there, Elnahal said, was the highly complex system making it hard for clinicians to perform routine tasks, such as ordering a test or a follow-up appointment. The veterans who will receive letters were identified as potentially being affected by those problems.
“This is actually a list of veterans who at some point, we have evidence, got caught up in this phenomenon of commands not getting where they need to go,” Elnahal said. “That definitely went above the threshold for us to proactively contact those veterans, because that is far and away our first priority, the safety and quality of the care we provide to veterans.”
Delayed follow-ups due to orders in the system not reaching their intended recipient was the main cause of 149 cases of harm identified in a VA Office of Inspector General report released in July. Similar errors led to a roughly yearlong delay in treatment for a veteran in Chewelah, Washington, who was eventually diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The text of the letter, which the VA provided to The Spokesman-Review, explains that the department is transitioning to the new system “to ensure that you have the modernized, integrated, and world-class care that you deserve” and encourages the affected veterans to make sure their prescriptions are correct, appointments are scheduled and test results are delivered to them. Veterans who believe their care may have been impacted are directed to call a dedicated call center at (800) 319-9446.
“We purposefully made a separate call center so that our clinicians in the field, seeing veterans, don’t take a huge volume of calls that forces them to disrupt veteran care that’s happening over the next couple of weeks,” Elnahal said.
Staff at the call center, he said, will take information from veterans who believe their care has been affected by the Oracle Cerner system and a VA health care team will follow up within five days.
The letters, which will be signed by Elnahal and local VA leaders in each region, conclude by saying, “We apologize for any inconvenience or concern this may cause you and your family. Our staff care deeply about your health, and we want to continue to partner with you for your health and wellbeing. Thank you for your understanding as we work quickly to ensure that you receive the best possible medical care.”
The system’s launch in Spokane was delayed twice by the Trump administration before going ahead just days before the 2020 election, during a local surge in COVID-19 cases and despite warnings that it was not ready to safely use. Thursday’s announcement marks the third time the rollout has been delayed under the Biden administration, but Elnahal’s focus on the system’s poor design represents a notable departure from VA leaders’ past remarks, which have often downplayed problems and pointed blame at health care workers themselves.
Elnahal said that while the VA is sending more technical assistance and additional clinicians to support the sites already using the Oracle Cerner system – which has decreased the number of patients each provider can see in a day – the biggest need is simply to make the system work better.
“The most definitive thing that will help us address clinicians’ stress as they interface with Cerner is reconfiguring the systems to solve what they worry about the most, which is any safety issue that could befall veterans,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive and get ahead of that issue with the letter, but at the same time we are starting now in solving that piece of the system’s configuration, which is what I worry about the most, because our clinicians on the front line worry about that the most.”
Elnahal is the first permanent leader of the Veterans Health Administration – the nation’s largest health care system, serving more than 9 million veterans – since former President Donald Trump named Elnahal’s predecessor, David Shulkin, as VA secretary in early 2017. As under secretary for health, Elnahal said his role in the Oracle Cerner rollout is “to be the voice of our clinicians” and to make tough decisions about how the system should be configured.
While the VA estimates that delaying the system’s rollout until mid-2023 will provide enough time to work with Oracle Cerner to fix the problems, Elnahal emphasized that the department won’t bring the system to new facilities until the “top-level safety issues are resolved,” even if that means further delays.
“Those specific patient safety risks have a lot to do with the way the system is configured right now,” he said. “It’s not as intuitive as it should be and there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Problems related to transitioning between electronic health record systems have been widely documented and are not unique to the VA, but the rest of the U.S. health care system doesn’t have the same level of transparency as the VA, which is subject to oversight by Congress and the Office of Inspector General, an internal watchdog agency. The VA also has a confidential reporting system that encourages clinicians to report patient safety risks and incidents of harm, which improves safety but can deliver the impression that the VA has a poor safety record in comparison to private hospitals, which often don’t have similar reporting mechanisms.
“Not many other health systems would have been able to surface, so swiftly and effectively, these safety concerns,” Elnahal said, crediting VA clinicians and patient safety experts. Because the VA had “robust systems in place” to detect safety threats, he said, the department raised the problems quicker than any other health care system would have.
The system being replaced by Oracle Cerner, known as VistA, is still used in nearly all VA facilities and has been credited with pioneering the electronic health record field. Elnahal, who used VistA during his medical training, said the existing system “represents a really amazing part of VA history, but it is just too old and simply cannot meet the future needs of veteran health care.”
While Elnahal said all commercial electronic health record systems are “not optimal,” he called the Oracle Cerner system “a workable product” that can be configured to meet the VA’s needs.
Asked whether the sites currently using the Oracle Cerner system could revert to VistA until problems with the new system are fixed, he said doing that “would actually introduce more risk than benefit at this point in the process.”
“Sometimes, you’re not presented with options to immediately resolve the safety concerns that are in front of you,” he said. “It is simply the case that the best option in front of us to resolve these patient safety concerns is to work with Oracle Cerner over the next several months to resolve the Cerner system issues at the sites where it exists. We know that this is possible, because other health systems have gone through this journey before, and I think we can do it.”
Publicly announcing benchmarks on GitHub for anyone to trial is a bold move. So, when Oracle Corp. published code to prove performance of its MySQL HeatWave database, some expected competitors to respond to the challenge.
But while analysts and prospects tested and validated HeatWave’s advantages, the cloud database market leaders have remained remarkably quiet — possibly because they know their databases’ performance can’t take the heat.
“Those benchmarks demonstrated MySQL HeatWave OLAP performance as much as an amazing 1392x superior to other MySQL cloud database competitors at a much lower cost,” said Marc Staimer, senior information technology analyst for Wikibon Media Inc., in research published earlier this year.
When Oracle acquired the rights to MySQL with its 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems, many thought it would be put out to pasture in order to maintain customer focus on Oracle Database. Instead, the company took a 10-year development journey and released MySQL HeatWave in December 2020. Since then, Oracle has been on an innovation roll with HeatWave, putting up a challenge to industry heavyweights Amazon Web Services’ Aurora and Redshift, Microsoft’s Azure Synapse, and Alphabet’s Google BigQuery.
So, what makes HeatWave stand out?
“It’s really these three things: a combination of new algorithms designed for scale-out query processing; optimized for commodity cloud hardware, specifically AMD processors; and third MySQL Autopilot which gives us this performance advantage,” said Nipun Agarwal, senior vice president of MySQL Database & HeatWave at Oracle.
Agarwal and Kumaran Siva, corporate vice president of strategic business development at Advanced Micro Devices Inc., spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Dave Vellante during a CUBE Conversation at SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Oracle’s partnership with AMD has improved MySQL HeatWave’s performance.
Oracle offers MySQL HeatWave as a fully managed database service offering. Unlike competitors, it is a single database that can be used to run transactional processing, analytics and machine learning workloads. This means customers don’t have to spend time extracting and loading data between databases. It is also very performant and offers a competitive total price to ownership, according to Agarwal.
“Where we are running on a 30-terabyte TPC-H workload, HeatWave is about 18 times better price performance compared to Redshift; 18 times better compared to Redshift; about 33 times better price performance compared to Snowflake; and 42 times better price performance compared to Google BigQuery,” he said, giving a specific use-case example. Customers can go onto GitHub and test for their own parameters as these figures are to “give a flavor” of what HeatWave is capable of.
“The main reason for us to publish price performance numbers for HeatWave is to communicate to our customers a sense of what are the benefits they’re going to get when they use HeatWave,” Agarwal stated. “It provides an easy way for customers to take the scripts, modify them in some ways which may suit their real-world scenario, and run to see what the performance advantages are.”
The performance advantages may vary based on a customer’s specific data size and workloads, Agarwal added.
This price performance is possible because HeatWave runs on AMD’s Zen 3 computer processor microarchitecture. AMD provides Oracle with its “top of stack” devices, “meaning that they have the highest core count and they also are very, very fast cores,” Siva explained.
Having so many CPUs in a single package increases the density of the node and decreases the cost to performance ratio, producing the extraordinary price performance figures seen from HeatWave, he added.
Another advantage brought by AMD is scalability.
“Not only does MySQL HeatWave on AMD provide very good price performance, say on like a small cluster, but it’s all the way up to a cluster size of 64 nodes, which has about 1,000 cores,” Agarwal said.
This ability to perform well both on small systems and at large scale-out is another way that HeatWave differentiates from the competition.
“We expect that other database services will have to Strengthen their offerings to provide the same good scale factor which customers are now starting to expect with MySQL HeatWave,” Agarwal stated.
Those customers may have to move fast to keep up with Oracle’s pace of innovation for HeatWave.
“It’s like this constant cycle every couple of months I turn around, there is something new on HeatWave,” Vellante said.
Oracle and AMD are collaborating closely to provide new capabilities to meet the trend of increasingly varied workloads, which now include not only online transaction processing and analytics, but mixed workloads with analytics, machine learning and OLTP, according to Agarwal, who stated that making HeatWave increasingly simple to use, cost-effective and efficient is the main goal of the partnership.
“In the next 12 to 18 months, we will have our Zen 4 CPUs out. So, this could potentially go into the next generation of the OCI infrastructure,” Siva said. “This capability when applied to an application like HeatWave, you can see that it’ll open up another order of magnitude potentially of use cases.”
Here’s the complete video interview, one of many CUBE Conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of enterprise technology, digital transformation, and cultures of innovation:
With Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas kicking off, the on-going battle with third party support provider Rimini Street is once again making the news. On October 10th Oracle said it had informed the court that it is prepared to proceed with a bench trial “because it is the most efficient path to ending Rimini’s illegal conduct, including its longstanding and continuing violations of Oracle’s copyrights.”
Oracle offers three support stages for its enterprise software, tools and databases: Premier Support, Extended Support, and Sustaining Support. In Oracle’s words, these “deliver maximum value by providing you with rights to major product releases so you can take full advantage of technology and product enhancements.”
Premier Support provides a standard five-year support policy for Oracle Technology products; Extended Support provides for an additional three years, and Sustaining Support is indefinite technical support.
In its Magic Quadrant report for cloud database management products, Gartner warned that Oracle’s on-premises products are often perceived to be expensive and difficult to manage, and customers continue to raise concerns about contract negotiations. In fact, Oracle recently increased maintenance charge from 5% to 8% of the original contract value.
Fixes, updates, and critical patch updates created during Premier Support and Extended Support are the only fixes available when the product reaches Sustaining Support. One needs to question why people continue to buy support, if the only patches they are entitled to are the ones that have already been published.
The challenge for many IT leaders is that while they may wish to continue running Oracle, especially if it is part of a core system of record, such as the Oracle relational database, they are being encouraged, or worse, coerced, into upgrading. One of the big benefits of third-party support contracts is that they separate software from maintenance and support.
But Oracle contracts stipulate that technical support may not be discontinued for a single program module within a custom application bundle. In effect, buying the best Oracle deal bundle will mean the customer remains tied in to paying full maintenance fees on all products in that bundle, even if some are replaced with non-Oracle products or third party support is used.
Rimini Street originally ended up on the wrong side of Oracle IP (intellectual Property) in 2010 and in October 2015, a jury found that Rimini Street infringed 93 copyrights.
While Oracle claims Rimini downloaded its IP illegally, customers paying Oracle for maintenance have every right to get fixes, patches and documentation, so long as these things remain on their own systems. What Oracle’s latest actions show is that it remains deadly serious about putting the knife into third party maintenance and support.
New release delivers seven JDK Enhancement Proposals to increase developer productivity, Strengthen the Java language, and enhance the platform's performance, stability, and security
Java 19's key capabilities to be showcased at JavaOne 2022 in Las Vegas on October 17-20
AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Oracle today announced the availability of Java 19, the latest version of the world's number one programming language and development platform. Java 19 (Oracle JDK 19) delivers thousands of performance, stability, and security improvements, including enhancements to the platform that will help developers Strengthen productivity and drive business-wide innovation. Oracle will showcase the latest capabilities in Java 19 at JavaOne 2022, taking place October 17-20 in Las Vegas, and via a keynote broadcast airing on dev.java/ at 9:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, September 20.
"Our ongoing collaboration with the developer community is the lifeblood of Java. As the steward of Java, Oracle is steadfastly committed to providing developers and enterprises with the latest tools to help them create innovative apps and services," said Georges Saab, senior vice president of development, Java Platform and Chair, OpenJDK Governing Board, Oracle. "The powerful new enhancements in Java 19 are a testament to the monumental work across the global Java community."
The latest Java Development Kit (JDK) provides updates and improvements with seven JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEPs). Most of these updates are to be delivered as follow-up preview features improving on functionality introduced in earlier releases.
JDK 19 delivers language Improvements from OpenJDK project Amber (Record Patterns and Pattern Matching for Switch); library enhancements to interoperate with non-Java Code (Foreign Function and Memory API) and to leverage vector instructions (Vector API) from OpenJDK project Panama; and the first previews for Project Loom (Virtual Threads and Structured Concurrency), which will drastically reduce the effort required to write and maintain high-throughput, concurrent applications in Java.
"Java developers are increasingly seeking tools to help them efficiently build highly functional applications for deployment in the cloud, on-premises, and in hybrid environments," said Arnal Dayaratna, research vice president, software development, IDC. "The enhancements in Java 19 deliver on these requirements and illustrate how the Java ecosystem is well-positioned to meet the current and future needs of developers and enterprises."
Oracle delivers new Java Feature releases every six months via a predictable release schedule. This cadence provides a steady stream of innovations while delivering continuous improvements to the platform's performance, stability, and security, helping increase Java's pervasiveness across organizations and industries of all sizes.
The most significant updates delivered in Java 19 are:
Updates and Improvements to the Language
JEP 405: Record Patterns (Preview): Enables users to nest record patterns and type patterns to create a powerful, declarative, and composable form of data navigation and processing. This extends pattern matching to allow for more sophisticated and composable data queries.
JEP 427: Pattern Matching for Switch (Third Preview): Enables pattern matching for switch expressions and statements by permitting an expression to be tested against a number of patterns. This allows users to express complex data-oriented queries concisely and safely.
JEP 424: Foreign Function and Memory API (Preview): Enables Java programs to more easily interoperate with code and data outside of the Java runtime. By efficiently invoking foreign functions (i.e., code outside the Java Virtual Machine [JVM]), and by safely accessing foreign memory (i.e., memory not managed by the JVM), this API enables Java programs to call native libraries and process native data via a pure Java development model. This results in increased ease-of-use, performance, flexibility, and safety.
JEP 426: Vector API (Fourth Incubator): Enables superior performance compared to equivalent scalar computations by expressing vector computations that reliably compile at runtime to vector instructions on supported CPU architectures.
Project Loom Preview/Incubator Features
JEP 425: Virtual Threads (Preview): Dramatically reduces the effort of writing, maintaining, and observing high-throughput concurrent applications by introducing lightweight virtual threads to the Java Platform. Using virtual threads allows developers to easily troubleshoot, debug, and profile concurrent applications with existing JDK tools and techniques.
JEP 428: Structured Concurrency (Incubator): Streamlines error handling and cancellation, improves reliability, and enhances observability by simplifying multithreaded programming and treating multiple tasks running in different threads as a single unit of work.
Driving Java Innovation in the Cloud
The Java 19 release is the result of extensive collaboration between Oracle engineers and other members of the worldwide Java developer community via the OpenJDK Project and the Java Community Process (JCP). In addition to new enhancements, Java 19 is supported by Java Management Service – an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) native service – that provides a single pane of glass to help organizations manage Java runtimes and applications on-premises or on any cloud.
Supporting Java Customers
The Oracle Java SE Subscription is a pay-as-you-go offering that provides customers with best-in-class support, entitlement to GraalVM Enterprise, access to the Java Management Service, and the flexibility to upgrade at the pace of their businesses. This helps IT organizations manage complexity, contain costs, and mitigate security risks. In addition, Java SE and GraalVM Enterprise are offered free of charge on OCI, enabling developers to build and deploy applications that run faster, better, and with unbeatable cost-performance on Oracle Cloud.
Underscoring Java's popularity with the global developer community, Oracle is proud to recognize the one millionth completed Java certification. Java certifications help developers stand out as Java experts and raise their profiles with enterprises seeking to attract highly skilled Java professionals.
Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at www.oracle.com.
Oracle, Java, and MySQL are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.
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The cuts affected workers at Oracle offices in Redwood City, Calif., home to the tech giant’s former headquarters. The jobs that were affected included data scientists, application developers, marketing certified and software developers.
Oracle has laid off more than 200 of its workers in California months after reports surfaced that the tech giant was considering “thousands” of job cuts on the heels of its $28 billion Cerner acquisition.
The Austin, Texas company cut 201 jobs in total on Oct. 3 from its Redwood City, Calif. office, according to its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filed in California. The job cuts took effect Oct. 3 and was received by the California Employment Development Department Sept. 30, according to the WARN.
In a letter to the state obtained by CRN, Oracle said the layoffs would be permanent and said that its Redwood Shores campus would not be closing as a result of the job cuts. Oracle formerly housed its headquarters in Redwood City, but moved it to Austin at the end of 2020.
Among the jobs cut in this round, according to the Aug. 4 letter to the state from Anje Dodson, senior vice president of human resources at Oracle: data scientists, application developers, marketing certified and software developers.
CRN has reached out to Oracle for comment.
As of this past May, Oracle employed approximately 143,000 full-time employees, of which about 48,000 are based in the U.S. and the rest internationally, according to a regulatory filing.
Oracle closed its acquisition of healthcare digital information system provider Cerner in June. The company began to notify employees of layoffs in early August, according to a report in The Information at the time. That matches with the date on the WARN notice, which states that this crop of employees received notification about the layoffs on August 4.
The company is the No. 1 employer in Redwood City, Calif. with over 6,500 workers there, according to the city.
As your business grows, you may invest in a greater number of software solutions to keep your operations moving forward. Businesses that reach this point often find it’s easiest to streamline all of their systems ‒ including accounting and financial management ‒ into one convenient enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform like Oracle NetSuite.
|Invoicing and bill pay||2.0/2.0|
As part of its robust ERP offering, Oracle NetSuite offers an intuitive cloud financial management solution that allows businesses to track their financial data and automate many essential accounting functions. Like any highly-rated accounting software, it offers reporting, planning, and billing features and easily integrates with other software, including Oracle’s suite of business solutions. It can also be used seamlessly with multiple currencies, so it’s a great option for growing companies with a global customer base.
If your business wants to expedite its accounts receivable and payable, accelerate deal closings, and keep up with financial compliance obligations, while taking advantage of a full suite of powerful business management features, Oracle NetSuite is an ideal accounting solution within an ERP platform.
|Base price||$999 per month|
|Invoicing and payments||Yes|
|No. of clients supported||Unlimited|
Because they can perform a wide range of complex business management functions, ERP platforms are typically priced on a custom basis. Factors such as business size, annual revenue and desired features all affect the cost of the software. Oracle NetSuite is no different, and to get an accurate price estimate, you’ll need to contact an Oracle sales representative. The sales rep will walk you through all the available features of the platform, including inventory management, financial management, point of sale, customer relationship management (CRM) and human capital management software
Based on our research, Oracle NetSuite pricing includes a $999 monthly licensing fee, plus a per-user fee that starts at $99 a month. While this base price can be used as an estimate, your costs may vary significantly depending on your specific business needs.
Because of its high price point, Oracle NetSuite is likely not well suited for a smaller business with simple accounting and bookkeeping needs. However, if your business is growing internationally and you anticipate needing an ERP platform to manage everything, this can be an excellent accounting solution that sets you up for financial success as your company grows. Thanks to NetSuite’s integrated ecosystem, you can save time and money that would otherwise be spent managing multiple software solutions from different vendors.
Key takeaway: Oracle NetSuite’s price varies depending on the different software modules required, the size of your business, its annual revenue and the number of orders your company processes.
Oracle NetSuite’s financial management solution offers a wide range of useful accounting features. Here’s more about how NetSuite can help growing businesses:
With Oracle NetSuite, your business can seamlessly combine its core finance and accounting functions with strong compliance management. This ERP’s financial management solution offers real-time access to your financial data to help you drill into important details, resolve delays, and generate compliance statements and disclosures for your stakeholders.
NetSuite provides the following basic accounting functions to streamline and simplify your financial processes:
Whether your business operates on a transaction, subscription, usage-based or hybrid model, Oracle NetSuite can help you manage your billing operations. It fully integrates into the platform’s advanced revenue management and compliance functions.
Businesses with financial reporting obligations can use NetSuite to easily comply with accounting standards, including ASC 605, 606 and IFRS 15. Using the platform’s rule-based event-handling framework, you can easily automate numerous revenue management and reporting functions, such as forecasting, allocation, recognition, reclassification and auditing.
NetSuite’s planning, budgeting and forecasting functions allow your business to plot out its financial future based on real-time analytics. Use your business data to forecast revenue, plot out what-if scenarios and develop accurate budgets. Oracle’s powerful reporting and analytics tools also allow you to gain a more complete picture of your business at any time to make better informed decisions about your finances.
If your business plans to expand its borders and go global, you need a financial management solution that helps you manage your international transactions and compliance obligations. Oracle NetSuite’s powerful financial engine gives you maximum transparency and visibility into your business across countries and in real time so you can manage your operations at the local and global level.
To make it easier to run an international business, NetSuite offers a variety of language interfaces to overcome language barriers and a multicurrency management system that supports over 190 different forms of currencies and automatically accounts for the current exchange rate for real-time conversion.
With Oracle NetSuite, your business will always be audit-ready. This ERP platform supports your company’s governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programs so you can handle increasingly complex regulatory, operational, and compliance challenges as you scale.
The platform can also establish a sustainable risk management and compliance process for your company so you can anticipate major risks before they happen.
Oracle NetSuite offers seamless integration with all its ERP solutions and integrates with many leading business software providers. If you use other vendors to manage your operations, you can use NetSuite’s open APIs to introduce new integrations.
To take advantage of these integrations, businesses can hire a NetSuite dedicated implementation team for an additional fee. The team not only helps set up the ERP platform itself, but also assists with any additional integrations and project management planning.
Want to use Oracle NetSuite as part of a larger ERP solution? Your financial management processes will integrate seamlessly with Oracle’s full suite of products. This is helpful if you’re trying to gain a more holistic view of your business’s financial transactions, budgets and forecasts.
Here are a few additional useful functions you’ll find within Oracle NetSuite.
Stay on top of your warehouse ordering. This solution helps you ensure ideal quantities of each item you sell by automatically analyzing historical sales and logistics data. NetSuite can determine the best reordering time frame for each product and replenish stock to an optimal threshold when it runs low.
NetSuite helps companies with every sales or work order while providing real-time visibility into every step of the production process. This ERP’s end-to-end manufacturing software solution can help you run your entire business and make better-informed decisions.
NetSuite helps you seamlessly manage each point in your supply chain, regardless of where your physical product is manufactured or stored.
NetSuite helps businesses with inbound logistics, outbound logistics, and inventory management, streamlining your warehousing operations and helping you minimize costs for on-time delivery. The built-in warehouse management solution enables you to manage your distribution operations using customized user-defined strategies and advanced real-time updates and integrations.
With Oracle NetSuite, it’s easy to purchase goods and services for your business quickly and at the best prices. Real-time information helps you better understand your company spend and vendor performance while automation and workflow integrations deliver a more accurate procure-to-pay process.
Manage your team and your human resources processes with NetSuite’s HCM solution, SuitePeople. This solution allows you to streamline employee onboarding and information collection for new hires while also giving visibility into your workforce operations.
Did you know? Oracle NetSuite offers several key tools that are critical for financial management, including basic accounting functions, billing, revenue recognition, planning and reporting, GRC, and more.
For growing international businesses, Oracle NetSuite offers a robust, all-in-one ERP solution that puts your most valuable business data into a single platform. NetSuite’s full product suite allows your organization’s various departments and systems to operate harmoniously and in real time so every person in your company is always up to date.
Key takeaway: Oracle NetSuite provides just about every feature you could want in an ERP, allowing for a seamless single solution for managing all your operations.
In terms of accounting software, NetSuite may be prohibitively expensive for smaller businesses. Additionally, it may offer far more functionality than your business needs at this point in its growth, and you don’t want to pay for features you’ll never use.
Ultimately, NetSuite is ideal for midsize and large businesses operating a complex operation, as this ERP solution performs best when all of the modules are used in conjunction with one another.
Tip:The high price tag of Oracle NetSuite may be too much for small businesses with less complex financial management needs.
Oracle NetSuite delivers top-notch customer service across its entire ERP platform, including its financial management solution. The company’s educational resources deliver users the opportunity to learn about NetSuite’s full range of products and stay updated on any new features or capabilities.
NetSuite offers 24/7, real-time support for industries via phone, email and a built-in chatbot on its website. The automated chat functionality can answer simple FAQs or connect you with a customer service representative.
Key takeaway: Oracle NetSuite’s customer service is on a par with what you would expect from a world-class ERP solution, so you can count on being able to find answers to your questions and concerns.
Stellar Cyber provides a solution for a major source of headaches for IT teams — an excessive number of security tools that require regular management and an overwhelming amount of data that has to be analyzed.
The Stellar Cyber Open XDR platform delivers comprehensive, unified security without complexity, empowering lean security teams of any skill to successfully secure their environments.
Stellar Cyber is a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), and they have just announced today that their Open XDR platform is now available on Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
Before you head over to the marketplace to check it out, we’ve covered everything you need to know about Stellar Cyber’s platform, the Oracle PartnerNetwork, and the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
Open extended detection and response (Open XDR) is an AI-powered platform that merges all necessary security tools and allows them to be managed from a single dashboard.
To do so, it combines the capabilities of:
XDR analyzes information, detects issues to determine which require a response, and removes flaws/threats all the while updating security policies. XDR is slowly replacing traditional EDR. Compared to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), XDR can detect and remove more advanced threats — those that can bypass the endpoint security.
NG-SIEM enables more accurate threat detection (without false positives). It analyzes risks and ranks them from low to high, depending on whether they’re likely going to result in an attack/be exploited by threat actors.
NDR analyzes corporate networks and continually learns about a regular activity to identify patterns that indicate signs of cyber threats.
TIP specializes in managing threat intelligence. Oversaturation of information that has to be analyzed and scored, drains already limited resources. TIP integrates with other tools and facilitates sharing and inspection of the data.
SOAR is a collection of protective solutions that are responsible for automation. i.e. threat detection and removal without the help of a human.
Stellar Cyber licensed all of these tools and united them to run under the umbrella platform instead dispersed across versatile dashboards. As a result, teams have greater visibility, businesses enjoy full coverage of the attack surface, and threats are mitigated before they escalate into incidents.
Furthermore, Stellar Cyber integrates, but also automates tools that continually diagnose, test, and react to threats. For companies, introducing the platform means less manpower since smaller teams can use the Open XDR to work more efficiently.
For instance, they’ll have fewer manual tasks and more time to deal with problems and improvements that require more brain power. As it gathers all the tools in one place, they also don’t have to combat alert and tool fatigue.
Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle’s partner program designed to enable partners to accelerate the transition to cloud and drive superior customer business outcomes.
The OPN program allows partners to engage with Oracle through track(s) aligned to how they go to market: Cloud Build for partners that provide products or services built on or integrated with Oracle Cloud; Cloud Sell for partners that resell Oracle Cloud technology; Cloud Service for partners that implement, deploy and manage Oracle Cloud Services; and License & Hardware for partners that build, service or sell Oracle software licenses or hardware products.
Oracle Cloud Marketplace helps Oracle customers who are seeking trusted business applications that offer unique business solutions, including ones that extend Oracle Cloud Applications.
Oracle Cloud is an enterprise cloud that delivers massive, non-variable performance and next generation security across a comprehensive portfolio of services including SaaS, application development, application hosting and business analytics. Customers get access to leading compute, storage, data management, security, integration, HPC, artificial intelligence (AI) and Blockchain services to augment and modernize their critical workloads. Oracle Cloud runs Oracle Autonomous Database, the industry’s first and only self-driving database.
CTO and Founder of Stellar Cyber, Aimei Wei, states, “Powered by Oracle Cloud, our Open XDR Platform features nearly optimal performance, delivering outstanding customer experience and value. Stellar Cyber’s participation in Oracle PartnerNetwork with the Powered by Oracle Cloud Expertise further extends our commitment to the Oracle community and enables customers to easily realize the benefits of Open XDR. We look forward to leveraging the power of Oracle Cloud to help Stellar Cyber and our customers achieve their business goals.”
Head out to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace to see for yourself!
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has suspended the rollout of its new multibillion-dollar electronic health records system until June 2023 to allow more time to overcome recurring problems with the computer program at several hospitals across the country, agency officials announced Thursday.
“Right now, the Oracle Cerner electronic health record system is not delivering for veterans or VA health care providers – and we are holding Oracle Cerner and ourselves accountable to get this right,” Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Donald Remy said in a prepared statement. “We are delaying all future deployments of the new EHR while we fully assess performance and address every concern. Veterans and clinicians deserve a seamless, modernized health record system, and we will not rest until they get it.”
The announcement followed the death of a veteran in September at the Chalmers P. Wylie Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Columbus, Ohio, which was reported by The Spokesman-Review, a newspaper in Spokane, Wash.
“Patient safety is VA’s top priority, and we are investigating the patient’s death, which occurred at a community hospital,” according to a VA statement issued Friday. “Currently, this investigation is ongoing and there has not been any determination made on the root cause of this incident.”
There was also another records system outage that affected pharmacy services on Oct. 7 for almost 10 hours, according to Fed Scoop, a federal technology website.
The VA said the outage impacted all Defense Department, Coast Guard and VA sites that now use the new records system from the company Oracle Cerner. The agency said Oracle Cerner engineers are working on fixing the problem, but this outage was not the reason for extending the delay on the records system rollout.
The VA had originally scheduled to launch the new records system in July at the Boise VA Medical Center but moved it to 2023 after the VA inspector general released a report that revealed the system caused harm to 149 VA patients.
So far, the new records system has been launched at five of the VA’s 166 health care facilities. In some cases, additional launches at some facilities have been postponed because of ongoing problems with records system, along with delays caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
At the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., where the system was launched first in October 2020, issues included unauthorized and inaccurate medication orders, patients' name and gender errors, issues in scheduling primary care appointments, misdirected links to video medical appointments and lost referrals.
In the meantime, the VA said it will continue to focus on the five facilities where the new records system has been launched. The agency said it also will send letters to veterans who had been impacted by the system’s issues, inquiring whether they had experienced delays in medications, appointments, referrals, or test results. If they have experienced any issues, the VA said the veteran should reach out to the agency and expect someone to follow up with them within five business days to resolve the issue.
“When it comes to delivering the quality health care our nation’s veterans have earned, we have to hit the mark the first time around,” Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said in a prepared statement. “That’s why I’ll continue holding VA and Oracle Cerner’s feet to the fire in fixing system-wide issues so existing facilities and any future rollouts certain VA health care staff have the tools to provide veterans safe, timely care.”
The VA originally signed a $10 billion contract with Cerner in May 2018 to overhaul the agency's health records system and make it compatible with the Defense Department’s system. However, the cost of the project later increased to about $16 billion.
Last October, Paul Brubaker, acting principal deputy assistant secretary and deputy chief information officer at VA's Office of Information Technology, told House lawmakers that the agency contracted with the nonprofit Institute for Defense Analysis to calculate an estimate of costs of the Cerner electronic health record system. A review issued in July by the institute estimated the implementation of the electronic health record system would cost nearly $39 billion in 13 years. The estimate also included more than $17 billion to sustain the system.
Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois, the top Republican on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said the new electronic health record should not be rolled out anywhere else until Oracle Cerner fixes its problems.
“When I visited [VA facilities in] Walla Walla [Wash.] in July and Columbus [Ohio] in September, the staff made it clear that this flawed system is making their jobs more difficult and crippling the delivery of care to veterans, and I have heard the same thing from the other sites,” Bost said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, these delays are nothing new. VA and Oracle must prove that this time is different, and I won’t allow them to continue throwing good money after bad.”
Mike Sicilia, executive vice president for industries at Oracle, which purchased Cerner in June, told the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs in July that he reviewed the system's problems. Oracle took over Cerner's electronic health record contract with the VA, Defense Department and the Coast Guard and established a command center led by Oracle's senior engineers.
Sicilia said at last month’s Senate Appropriations Committee that Oracle hosted a summit with the VA, Defense Department, Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization Office, and Leidos Holdings Inc. to discuss the federal electronic health record system's performance and its problems. Sicilia said the meeting led to plans for the system and that Oracle sent a letter to the VA detailing the plans and a roadmap.
Sicilia also said Oracle is working with the VA to revamp training for employees to learn to use the electronic health records system. He also said he still thinks the company can still launch a safe rollout at the rest of the VA’s facilities in 10 years as it was originally contemplated.