Oracle president Larry Ellison say he is expecting “tremendous growth” in the company’s cloud application business, as large enterprises move more of their systems to the cloud.

Speaking at the company’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco last week, Ellison said Oracle has 31,000 cloud application customers up from 7,000 in FY14, and the push to embrace more modern applications is a “gigantic opportunity” for the Redwood-based software business.

“We have lots and lots of large conservative organisations that are in the process of moving to the cloud. This is no longer early days. This is the period we are seeing of sudden acceleration as we see customers wanting to modernise their systems, wanting to modernise their business practices, and moving from older systems to modern cloud systems.”

Acquiring cloud-based ERP provider Netsuite in 2016 significantly boosted the number of Oracle’s cloud application customers, as illustrated in the slide below.

During his keynote Ellison highlighted Oracle’s progress in moving its applications to the cloud.

“We spent the last 12, 13 years rewriting all of our applications for the cloud. As we had an opportunity to re-engineer all of our applications we ensured, not only that they work with each other, but they also fully integrated into our second generation cloud, taking advantage of all of the capabilities in that underlying platform.”

A key differentiator for Oracle’s application suite, according to Ellison is, the underlying Oracle cloud infrastructure.

“We are the only suite of cloud applications built upon true cloud infrastructure. We are the only cloud applications company that is also in the cloud infrastructure business. The other application companies are not.”

Ellison said when Oracle’s acquisitions are also re-engineered to integrate with all of the underlying technologies of Oracle’s infrastructure business.

“When we acquire an application we then invest the necessary engineering to make it run on top of OCI [Oracle Cloud Infrastructure], to make it run on top of the autonomous database, to give it a voice user interface with our digital assistant, to take advantage of machine learning and the analytics cloud.”

“We are adding lots of lots of customers because we are investing heavily in building new applications and building new technologies to enhance those applications both at the application layer and at the infrastructure layer.”

As well as the addition of machine learning and digital assistants announced during Openworld, the other big change on the way for Oracle’s applications is a new user interface called Redwood.

“Just like all the applications are moving to the autonomous database, all the applications are going to take advantage of our new UI called Redwood,” Ellison said.

The Redwood user interface will have the same look and feel of Oracle’s new branding, unveiled last week, which has replaced the Oracle’s bright saturated red for something “warmer and richer” that, in the words of the company’s design team, is “more approachable, more human, more aspirational.”

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