In 2008, when the cloud began to pick up steam and technology companies such as Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A ReportGoogle were starting to expand into this ethereal manner of data storage, he laughed at the very term.
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"What is it? It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?" Ellison asked.
"I'm not going to fight this thing," he said. "But I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing, other than change the wording of some of our ads."
Perhaps Ellison should have tried to understand the cloud a better a little bit earlier, as it could have spelled profits for investors today, especially after the release of fiscal first-quarter earnings on Thursday.
The company's quarterly earnings came in at 55 cents a share on revenue of $8.6 billion, which was up 1.7% from a year earlier. But those missed analyst projections of 58 cents a share on revenue of $8.7 billion.
Oracle was hurt by its continuing dependence on its traditional software licensing business.
Along with the cloud comes the ability for companies to sell software as a service, rather than as a one-time license.
For example, this is how Microsoft now sells its Office suite of products. Rather than receiving a box with a disc upon purchase, users subscribe to the product, which is downloaded from the Internet and for which they are billed or even pay through auto-renew on a regular basis.
And it means big profits for companies that adopt this software sales model, along with their investors.
The market for software as a service and other public cloud services is projected to grow this year by 17.2% to $208.6 billion, according to research firm Gartner.
That is a sizable amount of money, all of which Microsoft and other cloud giants such as Adobe, Salesforce and even Amazon are eager to gobble up.
Oracle's forays into the cloud have so far proven successful, with sales of its cloud software and services up 77%, to $798 million, during the fiscal first quarter. Meanwhile, Oracle's traditional software licensing business fell by 10.5%, to $1.03 billion.
The company is making progress in the cloud arena.
In July, Oracle the announced that it will purchase one of the pioneers of the cloud, NetSuite, for $9.3 billion. NetSuite sells software subscriptions for ecommerce and managing customer relations, as well as a new accounting system.
So, though Oracle's fiscal first-quarter results from Oracle were disappointing, the company is righting its wrongs. Once the NetSuite acquisition goes through, the company will again be one of the hottest names in technology.
With a focus on making the cloud a larger part of its business and by scaling back its outdated software sales model, Oracle is poised to see positive growth.
Investors should see dips as buying opportunities.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.