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Oracle Layoffs 2017: Staff Cuts Trim Storage Hardware Sales Team

Targeted Oracle layoffs have hit the database company's North America storage hardware sales team, multiple sources confirm to ChannelE2E. Oracle's server hardware team will take on the storage sales responsibilities, though the company's top priority remains Oracle Cloud, the sources say.

The bulk of the cuts, apparently involving about 90 sales professionals, occurred December 1, the sources say. The twist: Most folks we've heard from credit Oracle for making the cuts, noting that consolidating server and storage sales teams makes sense across North America. The sources didn't know if the company made similar moves globally.

Rumors about the cuts also spilled onto, where one source estimated the cuts involved 100 employees.

Oracle has had multiple rounds of targeted layoffs throughout 2017, including cuts in January and September, according ChannelE2E and third-party reports. The cuts reflect Oracle's continued shift from hardware and software toward cloud subscriptions, which have been growing rapidly -- particularly on the SaaS front.

Next Oracle Earnings Report: Cloud Momentum?

Oracle is expected to report earnings on December 14 after the market close, according to the company's investor relations website. The company showed strength in an earlier September 2017 quarterly announcement, at the time saying that overall revenues jumped 7 percent to $9.2 billion; SaaS revenues jumped 62 percent to $1.1 billion; and PaaS plus IaaS grew 28 percent to $400 million. Total cloud revenues were up 51 percent to $1.5 billion.

Still, hardware revenues dropped 5 percent to $943 million in that September 2017 earnings report -- perhaps foreshadowing continued cuts on the hardware front.

Although Oracle regularly taunts Amazon Web Services in the IaaS market, the database giant's true differentiator remains SaaS -- particularly enterprise-class business applications. CEO Mark Hurd has repeatedly stated that Oracle will rank among the world's top two SaaS suite providers. Hurd doesn't predict who will emerge as Oracle's top SaaS rival -- but it's a safe bet his eyes are on Microsoft and SAP.

ChannelE2E has reached out to Oracle to determine if the latest hardware storage sales cuts were limited to North America or if they were worldwide.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.