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Summary:

All those acquisitions paid off! Oracle is now the second largest software company in terms of revenue, according to new Gartner numbers.

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 Salesforce.com, 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

  1. This list is interesting. Everybody knows that Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce are software companies. At the same time I bet very few realize that IBM is a bigger software company than SAP or that HP is bigger than Salesforce.

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    1. agreed — EMC’s #s also surprised me.

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  2. MSFT > #2 and #3 combined.

    So whatever happened to all that imminent MSFT collapse that everyone has been talking about since like forever?

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    1. Microsoft bashers always seem to forget how crazy profitable the company has been and still is.

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  3. Arun Velekkat Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Interesting. Good article.

    Where is Google placed in this table?
    I thought they had more than $50 billion revenue in 2013.

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    1. Andrei Yurkevich Tuesday, April 1, 2014

      Google is not a software company per se. They are selling mainly advertisement.

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  4. Gartner report missed Intuit which has more software revenue than Salesforce

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  5. Does this include SaaS or just packaged software?…..It would be interesting to see the SaaS mix of each vendor if it does.

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  6. Oyekanmi Fadipe Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    this is expected of Oracle as acquisition of software companies also help in the figures, but for Microsoft kudoooss to Bill…Oyekanmi Fadipe

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  7. Good article. EMC owns VMware so wouldn’t the revenue be combined?

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    1. VMware is 80% owned by emc but reports separately — so there’s that… i guess

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