Tag Archive: cloud computing


istockphoto_581154-pile-of-money

iStockphoto | dny59

You can add this to the growing list of specialized software that now runs in the cloud: Tracking the usage rights for film and television companies.

The company that does it is FilmTrack, and today it announced that it has secured a $20 million investment from the private equity firm Insight Venture Partners.

FilmTrack’s cloud application is used by film and TV studios to track the use of their video troves in order to make sure they’re getting paid when someone shows a movie or licenses some part of it. FilmTrack’s customers include the Weinstein Company, Lionsgate and the cable network Starz.

As part of the deal, Peter Sobiloff and Nikitas Koutoupes, both managing directors at Insight, will join FilmTrack’s board of directors. Also joining is Michael Lang, the former CEO of Miramax Films.

It’s the 15th investment in a software-as-a-service company by Insight Venture Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm based in New York. Last month, it invested $100 million in Anaqua, a cloud software firm specializing in the management of intellectual property including patents, trademarks and trade secrets.

netsuite-logo

Netsuite, the cloud-based business software company, just announced its quarterly earnings for the period ended June 30, and they reflect why the company’s shares have been one of the best performers on the New York Stock Exchange this year.

On a non-GAAP basis, Netsuite reported per-share earnings of five cents on sales of $101 million. That was better than what analysts had expected: Two cents per share on sales of $100.6 million. Sales rose 35 percent from the year-ago period.

Recurring revenue, a key metric for cloud software companies that sell their software on a subscription basis, grew 39 percent. Sales through resellers – or “channel partners,” in industry parlance – grew 70 percent.

“If there was any question that mission-critical business applications were moving to NetSuite, this quarter should provide the answer,” CEO Zach Nelson said in a statement. Just today, the company said that Hailo, the company behind the taxi-hailing app, had become a customer.

Always quick to point out where his main rival is tripping up, Nelson compared NetSuite’s results to those of the German business software giant SAP, which fell by about 7 percent year on year in its most recent quarter.

levie-d11

If you haven’t had enough of high profile tech IPOs, there’s word today that another is gaining steam for sometime in 2014, this one in the enterprise cloud computing space.

Box, the fast-growing enterprise cloud computing company that has raised a combined $312 million from venture capitalists and private equity investors, has completed its bake-off of bankers, according to Reuters, and is aiming to raise $500 million in an initial public offering in early 2014. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan Chase will lead the offering.

Box has been hitting all the stations of the cross on its way to an IPO. Earlier this year, CEO Aaron Levie (pictured here from his appearance at D: All Things Digital in May) confirmed to AllThingsD that the company is on track to exceed $100 million in revenue this year. And while he also admitted that Box’s burn rate is typically in the “seven figure per month” range, Levie states that the company’s biggest expense is the sales and marketing people who can, as he put it, “get enterprise deals done.” In January, Levie predicted that Box would have 1,000 employees by the end of 2013, and I just heard from a source today who said that, as of October, it was already north of 900.

At the time, he said that “most” of the $150 million the company had raised in a huge Series E led by the private equity firm General Atlantic was still in the bank. Box first announced it had raised $125 million in the summer of 2012. That round was said to value the company at $1.2 billion. Investors seemed to really like Box, because by January that same round of funding had swelled to $150 million.

Before that it raised $81 million in a 2011 strategic round that included Salesforce.com and SAP Ventures.

Levie didn’t immediately answer an email, and other sources at the company were not commenting in the wake of the Reuters story.

Levie publicly said earlier this year that a Box IPO was likely for 2014, and would follow a series of moves to expand its sales footprint globally. Its first move was to add a sales office in London to go after European business.

mark_hurd_oracle

Oracle president Mark Hurd made some news on the Oracle front today, announcing during a press conference in San Francisco that the company has launched a new version of its human capital management software.

HCM has been kind of a hot topic during the last few years, especially since a spate of acquisitions of companies like SuccessFactors by Oracle’s rival SAP a few years ago, and the IPO of Workday. Oracle got into the act too, acquiring Taleo for $1.9 billion in 2012.

Oracle calls these its HCM Cloud and Talent Management Cloud and put out a press release on it all while Hurd was speaking, saying that the new features would be available to customers immediately.

Hurd spoke in connection with Oracle Openworld, the company’s massive annual conference which is said to have attracted some 60,000 people to San Francisco today. CEO Larry Ellison spoke last night. Of course it wouldn’t be an Oracle press conference without a few digs at the competition, which Hurd delivered. The target in this case was Workday, which, having built a decent business in cloud human resources software, is now also building up its capabilities in corporate finance.

Asked to compare Oracle’s latest offering to Workday’s, Hurd said companies want their HR software to work readily with their corporate finance software. “It isn’t just important to have these HR applications, they also have to work with your financial information,” Hurd said. “That is why Workday has what I think is a fledgling operation to get their HR application working with the accounting system.”

He didn’t stop there. This same desire among big companies to have their applications working together has a lot to do with why Workday and Salesforce.com announced a broad alliance last week.

“Customers want to know how does this work with that,” Hurd said. “They are thinking about how to run the company horizontally.” His reason for making this point, he said, is that this tight integration between HR and finance is something that Oracle does out of the box.

On another topic, I took the opportunity to ask him about the state of the general IT environment, especially in the wake of Oracle’s weird quarterly results last week, in which it announced both a solid beat to the consensus on the bottom line, but outlook that really rattled shareholders the next day. (Maybe they overreacted, because the results weren’t really so bad after all.)

“Our view would be that in Q1 of 2013, we grew our software license business 17 percent, and we followed that with six percent in 2014,” he said. “Many of big cap competitors just have negative numbers. We rolled in with 17 and then six. Our overall software business, including support, grew eight percent, and to be clear, that’s almost all organic. So we’re gaining share and we know that we are.”

So what about that guidance for Oracle’s second fiscal quarter that so freaked out the markets? Hurd reminded everyone in the audience that Oracle grew by 18 percent in the second fiscal quarter last year. “So when you see the paltry forecast numbers for other companies, it tells you how we’re doing relative to the market.”

One other point: However the year may look in January in terms of the outlook for IT spending, it rarely gets better from there. “Most big companies plan their budgets in October and November. Usually they maintain that course during the calendar year. The real pressure is coming up right now, when companies sit down and plan next year. That is the question they’re answering right now. How do they feel about this economy? How do they feel about next year?”

His comments didn’t come in time to move the needle on Oracle shares, which feel by 11 cents today to $33.94. The shares have risen by about two percent this year.

%d bloggers like this: