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Database management systems company Oracle Corp. is no longer interested in competing against rivals IBM Corp. and SAP AG; it’s now after the cloud giants such as Amazon and Salesforce.com

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, was answering questions after a presentation at the company’s CloudWorld conference in San Francisco, when he said Oracle had “swapped” IBM and SAP for a “bunch of other guys; small, but agile.”

“Our competitors are this whole new generation of cloud companies,” according to Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. “We’re focused on the infrastructure companies like Amazon, and SaaS companies like Salesforce.”

In December last year, Oracle purchased cloud marketing automation vendor Responsys Inc., for $1.4 billion. The deal was seen as a way to counter Salesforce.com’s purchase of ExactTarget and Pardot.

Ellison, who had previously dismissed the notion of cloud computing as “gibberish,” also took the time to explain why his company appears to be entering the cloud fray late in the game, according to a report from Computerworld.com.

Ellison explained that Oracle is a company that builds many applications, rather than just one. The company was engaged in rewriting its apps such as the Java middleware in order to make its database multi-tenant for applications hosting, he said.

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