Hurd Makes Debut at Oracle's Earnings Call

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Thursday that not only has Oracle been hard at work on an advanced in-memory database product, it will arrive "well in advance" of SAP's database offering.

Getty Images

Competitors in the technology industry have pointed to the emergence of in-memory databases as a potential threat to Oracle, whose market-leading core product is a relational database.

The revelation came during Oracle's earnings call when Ellison made a few other projections and observations that investors will find intriguing. Among them:

- The application software business has grown to half the size of SAP's in Europe, SAP's home turf. Ellison also said Oracle this summer is winning "all the retail deals in Germany" from SAP.

- Oracle's hardware business will crack the 50% operating margin barrier in the current quarter. (They were only as high as 38% when Sun was independent.) When asked whether hardware operating margins could get as high as 60% long-term, Ellison said it's possible — but it depends on product mix.

A final note about the call: There's been lots of speculation about how Ellison, co-president Safra Catz and new co-president Mark Hurd will work together. Some observers have voiced concerns that two alpha males (Ellison and ex-HP CEO Hurd) could clash, or that two deputies (Hurd and Catz) won't get along.

The trio's first performance was pretty flawless. Catz handled the operational details and the numbers. Ellison handled technology outlook and competitive analysis. Hurd talked about the importance of hardware, systems and services to Oracle's future.

It's only been two weeks, but these didn't sound like people who are stepping on each other's toes too much.

Questions? Comments? TechCheck@cnbc.comAnd you can follow Jon Fortt on Twitter @jonfortt