Oracle overtakes IBM as second-largest software vendor, Gartner says

Global spending on software grew 4.8 per cent overall last year

Oracle has overtaken rival IBM as the world's second-largest software vendor by pulling in $US29.6 billion in software revenue during 2013, according to analyst firm Gartner.

"Global trends around big data and analytics with business investment in database and cloud-based applications helped to drive Oracle's top-line growth," Gartner research vice president Chad Eschinger said in a statement.

Microsoft retained its first-place ranking, at $US65.7 billion in software revenue, while IBM moved down to third place with $US29.1 billion. SAP remained in fourth place, at $US18.5 billion, Gartner said.

Symantec, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, VMware, CA Technologies and Salesforce.com rounded out the top 10 vendors. Others accounted for $US234.6 billion of the $US407.3 billion total.

Global spending on software increased 4.8 per cent overall last year to $US407.3 billion, with developed countries making up for "relative sluggishness" in emerging market areas, according to Gartner.

SaaS (software as a service) is having a major impact on both buying habits and spending totals, according to Gartner. For the first time, a pure SaaS vendor cracked the list of top 10 software companies by revenue, with the arrival of Salesforce.com in 10th place, with $US3.8 billion in sales. In addition, Salesforce.com is now among the industry's five largest application software vendors, Gartner said.

Subscription pricing offered by SaaS vendors is giving customers the ability to make investments "where it makes sense to grow and advance the business," while spending money to support their existing systems, Gartner said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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