Oracle Layoffs 2017: Hardware Staff Cuts, Solaris Changes?
Oracle has cut about 450 employees from the company’s hardware business in Santa Clara, according to The Mercury News. Total cuts could approach 2,000 employees, ZDNet suggested. Also, it looks like Oracle has killed Solaris 12 development, and will instead continue Solaris 11 updates through 2021, according to Ars Technica.
The alleged hardware layoffs and operating system project death come as Oracle attempts to accelerate cloud services revenues. Oracle believes the SaaS market will consolidate around two major software suite providers, according to CEO Mark Hurd statements in 2016 and 2017. Naturally, Oracle believes it will be among those two suites — though the company doesn’t mention potential rivals as part of that statement.
The unspoken reality: Oracle’s cloud is likely built on Intel x86 hardware and Linux, rather than SPARC microprocessors and the Solaris operating system. Oracle acquired SPARC and Solaris amid the Sun Microsystems buyout of 2o1o. Oracle’s associated hardware sales have generally fallen since that time, though Hurd has repeatedly insisted the Sun buyout paid dividends.
Referring to some of last week’s layoffs, Oracle said:
“The Santa Clara facility is not closing as part of this reduction in force. Rather, Oracle is refocusing its Hardware Systems business, and for that reason, has decided to lay off certain of its employees in the Hardware Systems Division.”
Oracle’s revenues were $9.0 billion for its fiscal 2017 Q2 results, announced in December 2016. That’s essentially flat with 2016 Q2 results. Predictably, the revenue pendulum swung toward Oracle’s software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) business — where revenues were $878 million in fiscal 2017 Q2, up 81% from fiscal 2016 Q2.