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Oracle Forecast: Very Cloudy (in a Good Way)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Last week, there were many who quick to count out Oracle (ORCL - Get Report) after the database giant reported disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter earnings results, which sent its stock plummeting 9%.

Oracle's miss came as a surprise. The company's fourth quarter had previously been referred to as the "magic of May." The company had posted performance that was consistently solid. This time was different. Even more disappointing, it was the company's second consecutive miss.

I'm not going to deny that Oracle's results were not up to the company's usual standards. But Oracle's management didn't try to pretend as if the quarter was more than it was. Nor did management show any signs of panic, having seen it coming. What was also clear during the conference call was that management sees the future and still has a solid pulse on this company's direction.

Last year, Larry Ellison, Oracle's CEO, first offered a glimpse of Oracle's cloud direction when he spoke at Oracle's OpenWorld Conference in San Francisco. In that hour-long keynote, Ellison announced four key initiatives to strengthen Oracle's SaaS (software as a service) position against the likes of SAP (SAP) and Salesforce.com (CRM).

One of the key products announced last September was Oracle's new database software called "12c." ("c" is for "cloud"). During last Thursday's fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Ellison made the following remarks:

"Next week, we will be announcing technology partnerships with the largest and most important SaaS companies and infrastructure companies in the cloud. And they will be committing to our technology for years to come."

I can only speculate if Ellison was referring to 12c -- I believe he was -- even though he did not specifically mention it with respect to the announcements.

He also said:

"We think 12c will be the foundation of a modern cloud where you get multi-tenant applications with a high degree of security and a high degree of efficiency, you at least have to sacrifice one for the other."

For those who are unfamiliar, Oracle describes 12c as a complete cloud lifecycle management solution that allows businesses to quickly set up, manage and support not only enterprise clouds but also traditional Oracle IT environments from applications to disk.

One of the key advantages of 12c is that it can operate in a multi-tenant environment, which means the software is able to function not only across several machines, but at different physical locations. In other words, 12c has the capability to make your network "cool."
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