Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL) continues to expand its portfolio of cloud services across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Among the next moves worth watching: Sometime in the first half of 2013, Oracle will introduce storage, messaging and developer services atop its PaaS offering. The company already offers Database and Java as a Service atop its PaaS platform.

Oracle President Mark Hurd and Executive VP Thomas Kurian offered the PaaS updates during a 30-minute call with U.S. media today. More than a cloud computing update, the call reinforced Oracle's overall business strategy (simplify IT and power customer innovation) and key initiatives:

  • Deliver best of breed technologies at every layer of the stack (microprocessors, servers, operating systems, databases, applications, middleware). 
  • Vertically integrate the stack to offer extreme performance and cost savings.
  • Communicate Oracle's commitment to the cloud. Hurd mentioned Oracle has 10,000 cloud customers and 25 million cloud users worldwide. But that figure likely involves partner platforms: He noted that nine of the top 10 SaaS providers are powered by Oracle. 

Hurd has previously stated that Oracle now generates more than $1 billion from SaaS annually. The company will surely make similar statements during upcoming Oracle CloudWorld conferences worldwide. 

During today's call Hurd avoided the temptation to place cloud "dollar figures" on all sales of hardware and software that are used to build third-party clouds. The dollar figure would be massive but also a pointless exercise, he said during the call. Read between the lines and Hurd basically dismissed cloud revenue claims from rival companies that use such approaches.

IaaS: Private Cloud Subscription Model

In addition to the PaaS and SaaS offerings, Hurd and Kurian spent time explaining Oracle IaaS -- an on-premises, subscription-based solution that customers can scale up or down based on their needs at a given moment.

Left unanswered:

  • Does Oracle take back hardware when customers scale down their IaaS offerings, or does the scale-down typically involve customers turning off microprocessor cores or software licenses without actually turning off entire servers?
  • Do Oracle channel partners earning recurring revenues from IaaS private clouds that they build for customers? If so, what are the details.

Oracle took a few questions during the briefing, but there wasn't time to cover Talkin' Cloud's IaaS inquiry. 

Public or Private Cloud: Same Technology

Either way, Oracle's key cloud message involved choice -- customers can run Oracle's technology on-premises, in a private cloud or in a public cloud using the same configurations. Oracle's own public cloud, for instance, is built on engineered systems (Exadata and Exalogic). Oracle is calling on customers to build private clouds using the same infrastructure.

No doubt, Oracle shops will embrace that message. But Talkin' Cloud will be watching to see how businesses that run multiple standards (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, for instance) react to the Oracle strategy.

Other Milestones

Since announcing the big Oracle Cloud push in September and October 2012, the company has achieved severan new milestones, noted Kurian.

For its public cloud, Oracle delivered new releases for all of its SaaS offerings -- across ERP, sales and marketing, HR, talent management, customer service and more. 

Customers will increasingly see integrations across Oracle's cloud platforms. For instance, it sounds like Oracle's PaaS services (Database and Java) are now integrated with Taleo and RightNow, two key SaaS offerings that Oracle acquired.

Oracle has also delivered two new releases of its social products, which offer social relationship management and social engagement and monitoring. The executives did not discuss how or when those releases will integrate with Eloqua, a SaaS-based marketing platform that Oracle announced plans to buy in December 2012.

Oracle also continues to open new datacenters -- including two new footprints in Europe and two in Asia Pacific.