Yesterday, Oracle reported earnings that missed expectations. While cloud revenue was up there was weakness in software license revenue.
These disappointing earnings bring two questions into focus: What is Oracle doing to enhance their earnings in the face of growing challenges to its core business model? Is the growth in Oracle’s cloud business real or just a different way of billing?
A close look at recent changes in Oracle’s license auditing practices and its sales staff commissions structure reveals that Oracle is indeed increasing the pressure on existing clients. How much impact these new practices have on boosting Oracle’s cloud earnings and possibly alienating its existing customer base is not easy to discern. But the shift in policy indicates that something has changed in Redwood Shores. To understand what’s happening, we need to dig into the arcane world of Oracle licensing. Oracle declined to comment on this story.