Oracle displaces IBM as second biggest software vendor by one count

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

New Gartner research finds that Oracle has surpassed IBM as the second largest software vendor in the world in 2013 as measured by annual revenue. Last year, Oracle weighed in with $29.7 billion of total software revenue, up 3.4 percent from $28.7 million in 2012  IBM’s revenue grew as well, but more slowly: It was $29.1 billion in 2013, up 1.4 percent from $28.7 billion in 2012.

It’s safe to say acquisitions had something to do with Oracle’s growth. It’s been buying up SaaS companies in something of a frenzy over the past few years. Between 2012 and 2013 alone — after CEO Larry Ellison said Oracle was not pursuing big acquisitions anymore — it bought Eloqua (for $871 million in December 2012), Taleo ($1.9 billion, February 2012) and Responsys ($1.5 billion, December 2013), plus several other software companies.

To be fair, IBM has been buying up software expertise as well–it acquired Worklight for an estimated $70 million in February 2012 and Kenexa for $1.3 billion in August 2012. I don’t think IBM’s $2 billion buy of SoftLayer last in 2013] would count in this software total, but I’m looking into that.

SAP, Oracle’s other (non-IBM) nemesis, remained at the number four slot year over year.

Also worth noting: Microsoft retained its top-dog status with a whopping $65.7 billion in revenue for 2013, up 6 percent from $62 billion the year before. And, the self-proclaimed “No Software” company, cracked the list of the top-ten biggest software companies for the first time, with $3.8 billion in revenue, up 33.3 percent from $2.9 billion the year before.

Top Software Vendors 2013

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