January 28, 2013 – In revisiting Oracle’s cloud roadmap, President Mark Hurd and EVP Thomas Kurian on Monday also pulled back the curtain on a few upcoming plans with enterprise deployment offerings. On a call with the media Monday, the two executives also addressed questions on the declining hardware market and the returns from nearly four-year-old, $7.4 billion deal for Sun Microsystems.

Hurd counted more than 10,000 customers to its cloud offerings, and put its annual SaaS revenue at approximately $1 billion. That as-a-service revenue is “very different from a cloud number,” which Hurd said would also include database revenue from cloud providers, as well as other middleware and hardware figures connected to data in the cloud.

“Some of the decisions a customer may make may be to be a private cloud, and may behave financially like a license at the end of the day, as opposed to SaaS or subscription revenue,” he said.

Oracle reported $9.11 billion in sales at the end of its second quarter, which closed in mid-December.

In beta testing are Oracle PaaS offerings for storage, messaging, virtual compute, developer services “and others,” says Kurian. Piggybacking on other public cloud and as-a-services releases or integration add-ons over the last few months, Kurian put the general availability for PaaS offerings within the first half of 2013.

When asked about the big money deal for Sun – done in 2009 as part of a competitive move against now-shaky rival HP – Hurd said cash flow to Oracle from Java, support and hardware revenue has “far exceeded” the price tag. The deal, which some questioned in terms of cost and reach, was one that has provided a “foundation ... to build a whole new series of technologies,” such as Exadata.

Oracle reported a nearly 24-percent drop in hardware revenues last quarter. When asked about the role of hardware, which is in an industry-wide decline, Hurd was less definite than with the cloud. He talked of growth in some of its storage appliances and said he expects traction when it “imminently” updates other high-end storage offerings.

Monday’s cloud mantra came three months after the cloud dominated Oracle’s messaging during its OpenWorld event. The vendor and CEO Larry Ellison had been hesitant with cloud plans as recent as a few years ago. Hurd also said the call with media Monday was the first of what would be regular vendor updates, something already done in Europe.