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The Enterprise System Spectator

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SAP winning BI customers from Oracle

SAP is now claiming that it is gaining customers at the expense of Oracle and Oracle's new business intelligence acquisition, Hyperion.

SAP reports that over the past several months more than 100 customers worldwide have chosen SAP for enterprise performance management with the intention to replace Hyperion solutions. It lists a number of wins specifically in its press release linked above.

Josh Greenbaum has some interesting commentary on SAP's claim. He thinks that it reflects a shift in tactics on the part of SAP, to more aggressively counter Oracle and its attempts to dislodge SAP from its position as the leading provider of enterprise systems worldwide.

He also points out that SAP may have even more success in winning business intelligence customers from Oracle in the future:
What’s interesting about SAP’s Hyperion wins is that they had nothing to do with Business Objects technology — all of them were recorded before the acquisition was complete. So the folks at SAP are promising an even stronger position vis-a-vis Oracle as the BO product line starts to make its way into the hands of SAP’s sales force.

How this will all end with respect to Oracle’s and SAP’s market position is anyone’s guess at this point. But I think it’s healthy to see a little balance restored in the marketplace of ideas: the onus is now on Oracle to prove that it’s gaining ground on SAP, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Not just because it provides fodder for this and many other blogs, but because it charges the companies’ respective customer bases with a little skepticism and some healthy doubt about how one-sided any part of the enterprise software market is at any given time. The rivalry between SAP and Oracle is complex, nuanced, and constantly evolving. Today we saw another example of how this statement becomes more true with every day.
Business intelligence is an interesting battleground for SAP and Oracle. Companies deciding on a new ERP system rarely make business intelligence the primary factor driving the decision. But for large enterprises that have both Oracle and SAP in various parts of the organization, the choice of a unified business intelligence platform could shift the balance of power from one vendor to the other. Ultimately, it could lead to standardizing on one ERP vendor or the other.

Senior executives don't enter purchase orders, process credits and debits, or release shop orders. But they do interact with enterprise performance management applications. Business intelligence is the one enterprise application that senior executives--the ultimate decision makers--use on a day to day basis. Therefore, whether an executive uses a business intelligence solution from Oracle or SAP is a big deal. So, it's no wonder that these two vendors are going after each other for BI mind-share.

Related posts
SAP to buy Business Objects
Oracle hustles Hyperion
IBM buying Cognos
Two more business intelligence vendors are hooking up
Vendor consolidation hits business intelligence sector

by Frank Scavo, 2/26/2008 07:15:00 PM | permalink | e-mail this!

 Reader Comments:

No wonder!

Waste Management sues SAP over ERP implementation:

The trash-disposal giant Waste Management is suing SAP, saying top SAP executives participated in a fraudulent sales scheme that resulted in a failed ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation.

"From the beginning, SAP assured Waste Management that its software was an 'out-of-the-box' solution that would meet Waste Management's needs without any customization or enhancements," the statement reads. "Unfortunately, Waste Management ultimately learned that these representations were not true."

Waste Management said product demonstrations by SAP prior to the deal employed "'fake software environments, even though these demonstrations were represented to be the actual software."

Waste Management's original complaint, filed in Harris County, Texas district court, said senior SAP executives, including SAP Americas' president and CEO, Bill McDermott, participated in the "rigged and manipulated" demos.

"At that meeting, SAP AG executives and engineers represented that the software was a mature solution and conducted a demonstration consisting of what they represented was the actual SAP Waste and Recycling software," the complaint states. The company later discovered that the software was a "mock-up version of that software intended to deceive Waste Management," according to the complaint. SAP has admitted to this in "internal documents," the complaint states.

SAP also demonstrated the "fake software" at subsequent sales presentations, according to the complaint.

"Almost immediately following execution of the agreements, the SAP implementation team discovered significant 'gaps' between the software's functionality and Waste Management's business requirements," it states.

"Waste Management has discovered that these gaps were already known to the product development team in Germany even before the SLA was signed. Instead of admitting what it knew at the time -- that the software lacked basic functionality to run Waste Management's business -- SAP undertook an elaborate fraud to perpetuate the original fraud and to recover additional money from Waste Management."

Members of SAP's implementation team blamed Waste Management for the functional gaps and submitted change orders requiring that Waste Management pay for fixing them, according to the complaint.

In addition, the complaint alleges, SAP originally promised that a pilot phase in New Mexico would be up and running by Dec. 15, 2006, "but it is not even close to being completed today."
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