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Cat Fight: SAP & Oracle

I was thinking to write an article about Oracle SAP ads which can be seen in tech magazines. Today I came across Brad Grimes & Joab Jackson’s “Deconstructing the Oracle SAP ads” and I was inspired to write this article. I had pointed out this topic before.

Today both SAP and Oracle are respected Enterprise Resource Planning system providers (ERP). Not too long ago just 6 years ago if you ask someone what major ERP vendors, you would get this answer: SAP, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Oracle, etc… We could think that those 4 companies are the biggest player in ERP. SAP was the biggest of them and still the biggest one! But then Oracle –Larry Ellison- thought to fight SAP. It / he started to acquire companies. PeopleSoft bought JD Edwards, Oracle bought PeopleSoft. Oracle bought other companies too like Retek, Siebel, etc… So today there are only two major ERP vendors anymore: SAP & Oracle.

There is a great cat fight between SAP & Oracle. I say cat fight, because it doesn’t seem a normal competition. I will explain. Who started this cat fight? It seems Oracle started it.

Look at these Oracle’s advertisements. Target is directly SAP on them. Arguments certainly are discussable!

SAP Vice President Bill Wohl, who is the head of SAP’s product and technologies communications groups, said:

Frankly, we don’t respond to those ads.
The worst place to get your information about SAP is from Oracle ads.

Therefore SAP is a passive fighter; Oracle is aggressive fighter in this cat fight. But I am wondering why Oracle is so aggressive? Is it a fair competition? US laws let companies use ads like those. But if a company gives information about another company its on ad, I believe it should be accurate and objective. Oracle people can say all information is accurate. But don’t forget they are not objective! Are they?

I think SAP does right thing against Oracle’s ads. Don’t try to respond those ads, responding those ads would gather competitive advantage to Oracle. I understand Oracle tactic that it has been trying to put some confusing information into CIO’s mind.

Another perspective of this fight is nationality. SAP is German Software Company – the biggest EU software company – ; Oracle is a US company. Is there any affect in terms of nationality in this competition / cat fight? I don’t thinks so! What do you think?

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