Welcome to Episode 48 of the Cloud Wars Horizon Minute — featuring news and commentary hosted by Acceleration Economy analyst Tom Smith. Each episode provides insights into one or more Innovation Accelerators on the Cloud Wars Horizon. In this episode, Tom connects with Acceleration Economy co-founder and Cloud Wars founder Bob Evans; they share thoughts on the most important developments in earnings results from their respective areas of focus: the Cloud Wars Top 10 for Bob and Cloud Wars Horizon for Tom.
00:54 — Bob relates how Oracle grew 45% in its cloud business. Additionally, some skeptics have pointed out that that business is much smaller than Microsoft and AWS. Still, Oracle had $3.6 billion and it’s getting close to a $15 billion run rate. Its success is driven by what tens of thousands of companies are choosing to invest in all the time. Oracle has so far tended to be relatively middle of the pack or in the bottom half of the Cloud Wars Top 10 for growth. Now, it’s number one.
03:51 — The other company to mention is Salesforce. Its revenue grew 22% to $7.7 billion, making it the largest enterprise applications vendor in the world. It surpassed SAP, and it has grown to 22%. The crazy thing is that if you rank the Cloud Wars Top 10, a 22% growth rate is in 9th place out of 10 companies, which just shows the vibrancy of the overall market.
05:21 — The cloud is now at the center of most companies’ IT and business technology strategies going forward. Tech investment by businesses or technology budgets have gone from being a cost center to being ground down — relentlessly and ferociously — to being an indispensable source of innovation
06:12 — We may see the day when the cloud is at the top of “business” investments, not just “business technology” investments.
07:30 — Couchbase results truly stood out: It beat its revenue and earnings estimates and raised its guidance, which is unusual at this point in time. The company expressed really high confidence in the go-forward outlook. It’s important to qualify that and say this is a far smaller company than the Oracles and the Salesforces of the world. But it is truly delivering impressive results.
08:03 — The grocery giant Kroger reported exceptional results and raised its outlook — there are a couple of reasons for that. The company is focused on “accelerating with digital” — that’s its terminology. It has also gotten its supply chain in order, which we all know is no small feat. Finally, it has a big focus and its executives really spent time in their conference call talking about initiatives that are designed to help customers deal with inflation. The company is being really customer-centric.
08:53 — On Kroger, it was fascinating to see that on the one hand, it’s at a point now where it has to be careful, as everybody has to now be, to not spend too much. But the company is using data and analytics to offer customers more coupons and discounts. It’s using technology to be able to do those things simultaneously, which was pretty much impossible in the past.
10:04 — Workday’s growth has been accelerating for the past five quarters: It hit 23% growth in subscription revenue, to about almost $1.4 billion, doing very well across the board. And then there’s the sort of crazy outlier in the Cloud Wars Top 10 Snowflake which is so much smaller than any of the other Cloud Wars Top 10 companies: Its revenue was up 83% to $466 million. The Snowflake CEO said now that it has things going really well with the data cloud, and has that humming. The company’s next field of innovation for customers is going to be application development. So, that’s a whole new direction here and it’s just at the beginning of what this market can do.
11:55 — Shifting gears to Walmart: The world’s biggest company and the world’s biggest retailer is entering the industry cloud space. Walmart exceeded expectations for the quarter and, probably more importantly, said its inventory levels have peaked; its supply chain and technology investments are helping address problems that have plagued the retail sector, and perhaps no industry has felt the pain of inventory and supply chain problems as retail has.
12:40 — Finally, Celonis, the leader in execution management, secured an additional $1 billion in funding at an uncertain time economically. That’s a pretty powerful endorsement of where this company is headed, and the value that it’s delivering to its customers.
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