Oracle hires cloud 'success' pushers, denies EMEA customers are floating away

March of the persuaders

Oracle is expanding its platform-as-a-service cloud team in Europe, but denied it is a move to revive renewals.

The database giant confirmed it is hiring 150 people across EMEA to join the firm’s Customer "Success" programme under Carmen Romero.

Oracle told The Register the move is in response to growing customer demand and cloud expansion, pointing to recent Q2 results.

But a Reg source close to Oracle said many customers who’d signed up to Oracle cloud are not actually renewing their existing agreements, so would therefore stop using Oracle's cloud.

The renewal rates are less than 50 per cent in EMEA, and it seemed to be affecting those who’d been first to sign up with those contracts now up for renewal.

Cloud is the only part of Oracle’s business that is growing: 26 per cent globally in that second quarter to November 30, 2015.

“A lot of cloud transactions are commercial transactions; they are not using cloud, but it's part of the overall package,” The Reg source said.

Oracle’s 150 new hires will be given the task of countering customers’ arguments for not using Oracle cloud and therefore leaving.

That will mean explaining the benefits, again, of using cloud from Oracle and taking a lead in coordinating resources like training and certification.

“This is a huge push from corporate to make sure that cloud renewal rates go up,” our source said. “It was below 50 per cent and that was a big concern.”

Falling renewals would be a major tactical problem: the wisdom of cloud subscriptions is that once customers are signed up, they are there for life.

On Wall St, success in cloud has become the measure of a tech business's health.

Oracle has also been on a January PR crusade to boost its own cloud which has involved casting doubt on the enterprise-readiness of Amazon Web Services (AWS), among other tactics.

Renewal failures for Oracle would also cast doubt on the policy of fantastic remuneration for sales staff to drive cloud sign-ups.

Our sources said Oracle is introducing key performance indicators that would see sales staff who sell cloud compensated only when customers start using the cloud in their contract.

It’s believed the new KPIs will come into effect in Oracle’s new financial year, starting on June 1.

Oracle did not comment on the new KPIs. ®

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