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Oracle Losing Ground as More Businesses Look to the Cloud

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Activision, the world’s biggest video-game maker, wanted applications delivered over the Internet and stored in the cloud. Activision, the world’s biggest video-game maker, wanted applications delivered over the Internet and stored in the cloud.

When Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) needed new software to help it field questions from users of its “Call of Duty” shooter franchise and other games, it held a bakeoff between Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Salesforce.com Inc

When Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) needed new software to help it field questions from users of its “Call of Duty” shooter franchise and other games, it held a bakeoff between Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Salesforce.com Inc.

Oracle lost.

Activision, the world’s biggest video-game maker, wanted applications delivered over the Internet and stored in the cloud, rather than on its own servers, Activision Chief Information Officer Robert Schmid said in an interview.

“Salesforce has really stepped up to the plate,” he said. “I’m much more interested in a cloud application than an on- premises application. I don’t want to do plumbing.”

Companies as varied as Bayer AG, Zynga Inc. and Hewlett- Packard Co. also have opted in recent months for Salesforce (CRM) over Oracle, evidence of shifting loyalties in the $113.8 billion business-applications market. Some corporations aiming to cut costs and find more flexible ways to run operations are turning to cloud providers like Salesforce and Workday Inc., shunning the kinds of pre-packaged applications made by Oracle that are installed on machines and carry multiyear service agreements.

“Salesforce.com and Workday are taking share and eroding Oracle’s application maintenance stream,” said Brad Zelnick, an analyst at Macquarie Capital in New York, who downgraded Oracle’s stock to neutral in January. “That’s what’s really giving Oracle a run for their money.”

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