Oracle Corp. (ORCL) is expanding its cloud efforts outside of the U.S. and is gearing up to hire 1,000 employees to meet that end.

The company announced in a statement that it is looking to hire sales representatives in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as part of the expansion of its cloud computing services into other regions around the globe. The software firm wants employees who have two to six years experience in sales, management, finance, recruitment, marketing and human resources. "Our cloud business is growing at incredible rates, so now is the right time to bring in a new generation of talent," said Tino Scholman, VP of Oracle Cloud in the EMEA region. (See more: Amazon, Microsoft Still Rule Cloud; Oracle, Alibaba May Catch Up)

For Oracle and other technology companies cloud computing has become an increasingly important part of their growth prospects. With all sorts of companies opting to rid themselves of expensive hardware and software and access it via the Internet, firms like Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle and Alibaba (BABA) are benefiting.

The cloud business at Oracle saw 58% year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter to $1.4 billion. Cloud products now represent more than 12% of the company’s total sales, reported Bloomberg. Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the regions Oracle is looking to hire in, accounted for 28% of its overall revenue in 2016, but sales in the region was down 2% as customers moved from its software to cloud services. (See more: Oracle’s 10% Jump Is Just the Beginning: UBS)

In the fourth quarter Oracle reported earnings of $0.89 per share, compared to the Street’s forecasts at $0.78 EPS. Sales up 2.8% year-over-year (YOY) to $10.9 billion also surpassed the consensus for $10.5 billion. Chief Executive Safra Catz attributed the strong quarter to “rapid adoption of the Oracle Cloud,” led by the 75% growth in the company’s SaaS business. “This hypergrowth is expanding our operating margins, and we expect earnings per-share growth to accelerate in fiscal 2018,” said Catz. That strong cloud showing not only sent shares of Oracle higher on the back of its late June earnings report, but it also prompted some Wall Street firms to raise their expectations for the company with Argus upgrading its rating to buy from hold saying the company’s main task now is to leverage its customer base with cloud offerings.


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