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Why Oracle thinks it can win the cloud industry

Despite an uphill battle, Mark Hurd, one of Oracle's CEOs, said he thinks the company's "all-in" strategy will win the cloud battle.

"What Oracle's doing different than any of the companies … our strategy is really a whole suite of capabilities," Hurd told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday. "Long run, we think suites will win. We think we're in a unique position to take advantage of that."

Cloud software vendors Salesforce.com and Workday are outpacing Oracle in many respects, without the legacy business to weigh them down. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google combined control well more than half the worldwide cloud infrastructure services market, Synergy Research Group estimates.

Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle.

But as companies increasingly move their software and databases off of in-house servers and into the hands of technology companies, the capability to have multiple layers of functionality within a single cloud provider will be key, Hurd said.

"We have, of course, all of our Oracle technologies in our cloud," Hurd said. "But I don't think you're going to see customers wanting to deal with 50 clouds or 40 clouds or anything like that. I think it will actually be a few. Therefore, in our cloud, we have to keep lots of technologies available to our customers ... you'll see a whole suite of capabilities."

Like a utility, cloud storage is getting cheaper and could quickly become commoditized — meaning companies must start adding the kind of value that would draw an average small business to the cloud, Shelly Palmer, an author and business advisor, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday


"Truthfully, this entire industry is fighting not each other, but the future," Shelly Palmer,. "Where we are right now is where power was when everybody had a different kind of power company and there wasn't a municipal grid. At a certain point, these companies are going to have to offer something more than just storage and computing power."

Hurd spoke from Oracle OpenWorld, the company's annual conference in San Francisco, which kicked off with pointed words from the company's co-founder and chief technology officer, Larry Ellison.

The conference, which drew more than 60,000 people, comes as Oracle has agreed to buy NetSuite for $9.3 billion, as Oracle looks to expand beyond its core software license business.

"Just look at the numbers," Hurd said. "Several years ago we made the decision, as part of this overall strategy, to go all in on the cloud. We changed our organization to do that. We changed our incentives to do that. ... We grew our cloud in Q1 [by] 82 percent."

In a move befitting its name, Oracle is looking aggressively to the future to bolster its cloud computing offerings against market leader Amazon, Ellison said in a Sunday night speech.

"Amazon's lead is over," Ellison said, according to USA Today. "Amazon is going to have serious competition going forward."

Oracle also announced over the weekend the acquisition of Palerra, which will help the company provide cloud security services. Hurd said that improving security, performance and analytics on databases are all necessary as Oracle helps law enforcement with security.

"We are really optimistic about our position in the cloud and our growing leadership in many of these services," Hurd said.

— CNBC's Ari Levy contributed to this report.