NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last week, there were many who quick to count out Oracle (ORCL) 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).
Clearly, Oracle has made great strides in the cloud in a relatively short period of time and has shown impressive relative growth rates in the SaaS market. These past two quarters have nonetheless shown that the competition within this space from IBM ( IBM) and SAP ( SAP) is also very aggressive. Oracle's ascent within the cloud is now being taken seriously. Accordingly, rivals have also begun to apply pressure. Oracle is responding with strategic partnerships with (among others) Microsoft ( MSFT) and Salesforce.com. Some are quick to suggest that Oracle is admitting defeat by partnering with its hated competition. I don't believe that to be the case. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.