Oracle plans to hire 2,000 cloud workers; hundreds of open positions listed in Seattle

Oracle’s Cloud Experience Center in downtown Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Oracle wants to ramp up its cloud business, and what better place to grow and pick off engineers than in the backyard of industry leaders Amazon and Microsoft.

The company told Reuters earlier this week it plans to hire 2,000 additional people to roll out its cloud services to more parts of the world. And an examination of the company’s open positions points to a major hiring push on the way in Seattle, a centerpiece of its cloud operations that has faced its ups and downs in recent years.

A search for jobs in Seattle returned 839 results, though a chunk of the postings — a little more than 10 percent — list other locations as well. Oracle also has 24 open positions in nearby Bellevue, Wash., where Amazon is expanding rapidly and Microsoft also has a presence.

Oracle is playing catch-up in the cloud, aiming to expand beyond its legacy in databases to build out a fully-fledged public cloud platform, attempting to go toe-to-toe with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft for a wider range of cloud contracts. Seattle, which has become the cloud capital of the U.S. thanks to the growth of Amazon and Microsoft as well as Google’s new cloud campus, is an important part of that effort.

Two years ago, Oracle leased a big chunk of a downtown Seattle office space, expanding its presence in the region. It has also been linked to the office space at the Rainier Square project that Amazon put back on the market earlier this year. However, Oracle reportedly laid off hundreds of people from its cloud-focused Seattle office earlier this year in an indication of the uphill climb it faces.

We’ve reached out to Oracle for comment, and we will update this story if we hear back.

Earlier this year, Oracle struck a surprising cloud partnership with long-time rival Microsoft. As part of the deal, Oracle is putting its data centers as close as possible to Microsoft’s. The goal is to link Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to Microsoft Azure as seamlessly as Oracle would connect two of its own data centers in the same region, allowing businesses to run different components of an application in concert across the Oracle and Microsoft clouds.

Don Johnson, executive vice president of Oracle’s cloud infrastructure unit, told Reuters the company will add people in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, India and near new data centers. The company aims to open 20 additional cloud regions — areas where it operates clusters of data centers — by the end of next year.

Oracle today has 16 regions, and a dozen of them opened in the last year, Reuters reported. New regions will be located in Chile, Japan, South Africa and the United Emirates along with other data centers throughout Europe and Asia.

Microsoft’s Azure unit has the most regions of any of the major cloud providers at 54. Amazon Web Services has 22, with three more on the way.

Cloud services make up nearly three quarters of Oracle’s overall revenue — $6.8 billion out of total revenue of $9.2 billion in the most recent quarter. Oracle’s overall revenue was flat in the most recent quarter and cloud services grew only about 3 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, AWS revenue was $8.4 billion in the most recent quarter, up 37 percent. Microsoft doesn’t break out Azure revenue in its financial results, but the company did disclose it rose 68 percent year-over-year in the most recent quarter.

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