Cloudera and Hortonworks' upcoming merger could put the combined company on a par with — or even a step above — legacy software-and-cloud provider Oracle, Cloudera CEO Thomas Reilly told CNBC on Friday.
"A lot of the excitement about this merger is people expect us to be the next Oracle," Reilly, who will become CEO of the new Cloudera after the merger closes, told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview.
"Data's of much more volume and people want to do artificial intelligence and machine learning against that data. That's where we're going to compete and that's how we become the next Oracle of the future," Reilly continued.
Reilly added that Oracle has been a "good partner" to Cloudera for a long time, reselling Cloudera's software to clients and partnering with the company on work in the cloud, which he said will continue.
But "Cloudera plus Hortonworks, [when] we're together, will be the only provider delivering our software across all the major cloud guys," he said. "We work on Amazon, Microsoft, Google, the IBM Cloud, and that's our value proposition to enterprises. They can work across all the cloud providers."
Both software companies that help enterprises manage and analyze huge amounts of their data, Cloudera and Hortonworks have been in competition for nearly a decade.
But the merger will be a "win-win" not just for both companies, but for all the relevant stakeholders including investors, customers and partners, Reilly said.
News of the all-stock merger, announced Wednesday, sent both Cloudera and Hortonworks' stocks higher by double digits.
"This is a wonderful merger," Reilly said on Thursday. "Basically, bringing these two companies together, we are creating immense shareholder value. So, our plans are that by 2020, just around the corner, our combined company ... will be greater than $1 billion in annual revenues, will be greater than 20 percent year-over-year growth and will have greater than 15 percent operating cash flow margins."
Cloudera's stock closed 6.04 percent lower on Friday at $17.90 a share, dragged lower by broader market losses. The company reported better-than-expected earnings results in early September. Hortonworks' stock also ended the day lower, down 4.9 percent at $23.28 a share.