Oracle beefs up cloud sales team with 1,000 EMEA openings

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Oracle is adding 1000 new sales staff in EMEA to help it compete with cloud giants like AWS and Microsoft, but it won't say if there are cuts coming to traditional sales roles

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Oracle is the latest legacy software vendor looking to reorganise its sales teams to be more focused on cloud services, as it announces 1,000 job openings in EMEA.

Oracle is targeting "people from diverse backgrounds and profiles with between two to six years work experience", the official press release states.

This follows some positive financial results for Oracle, as it posted a 66 percent year-on-year growth in cloud revenues for Q4 2016. That figure comes in at $1.4 billion and includes PaaS, IaaS and SaaS, which has been boosted by the recent NetSuite acquisition. By comparison AWS posted revenues of $3.66 billion in its latest results back in April.

The motivation here is to create a younger, more engaged sales force to help Oracle compete with cloud market leaders AWS, Microsoft and Google. It should also help Oracle to distance itself from the aggressive, long-term licence-agreement sales culture it has thrived on for decades.

Tino Scholman, VP of Oracle Cloud EMEA region said: “Our cloud business is growing at incredible rates, so now is the right time to bring in a new generation of talent to our company."

This change in approach when it comes to sales reflects what has been occurring at other vendors like Microsoft, which is cutting around ten percent of its global sales force as part of a broad reorganisation to focus on selling its cloud services under the Azure brand.

"Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners. Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated," the company said in an official statement.

The natural question here is if Oracle will also be implementing cuts, alongside these new hires. Oracle refused to say if it would be cutting roles, responding to Computerworld UK with the following: "As we work in a dynamic and fast moving sector, we rebalance our business from time to time in the normal course of operations.

"The sales roles we are announcing today are additional roles within our sales operation for a rapidly expanding part of our business."

Read next: Microsoft lays off thousands of staff as it commits to the cloud

Cloud sales requires a different skill set to traditional on-premise software sales. Now with the rise of shorter "as-a-service" contracts, salespeople need to engage with clients more regularly and be aware of their requirements.

"We are looking to hire relationship focused people who are self-motivated and smart, who thrive for business transformation for our customers and love delivering great results," as Scholman put it.

This sounds remarkably similar to what Judson Althoff, executive vice president for worldwide commercial business at Microsoft outlined in a memo acquired by the Wall Street Journal ahead of its recent round of layoffs. He said he wanted to increase the “technical depth and better align sales and services to solution areas”, at the company.

Candidates can apply for these new roles by visiting oracle.com/experience.

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