Oracle (ORCL) claims its cloud-based billings outpaced rivals Salesforce.com (CRM) and Workday (WDAY) last quarter. Shawn Price, senior vice president at Oracle, said it won the battle by pursuing a different approach -- and will continue to do so.

"We are coming at this with thousands of customers who have trusted their business to us for decades to run their businesses and they are moving and trusting us to move them seamlessly to the cloud," said Price.

Oracle said its billings grew 68% in its second quarter, compared to a 21% growth at Salesforce.com and a jump of 41% at Workday.

Price was head of the cloud business at Oracle's chief rival SAP (SAP) until he joined the firm last year. He said his former employer is also taking a different strategy when it comes to the cloud in buying -- rather than building -- its way to success.

"We started on a journey believing that the world was going to migrate the most important financial apps to the cloud and so we started development seven years ago to do that," said Price.

"If you look at SAP, they have started to acquire cloud assets around them, but not really ported their core financials or their core ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)."

Shares of Oracle have dropped almost 21% in the past 12 months, while shares of SAP have jumped over 23%.

As for the sectors moving most quickly into the cloud, Price said major financial institutions are leading the charge of late, even while music streaming and gaming get the most media attention.

"Our market opportunity spans (the) service centric industry and (the) product and asset centric industry," Price said.

Oracle's SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) revenue was $487 million, up 38% from last year's final quarter. Price said he expects the fourth-quarter exit rate gross margin for Saas and PaaS to be around 55% to 60%, and from there he is targeting 80% in fiscal year 2018.                                                        

"If we continue to book the way we expect, we should see our first $1 billion quarter for SaaS/PaaS revenue next year," he said.

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