Oracle V. SAP: Courtroom Diary - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
11/3/2010
08:29 PM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

Oracle V. SAP: Courtroom Diary

The big dogs haven't howled, but there's been plenty of yapping and leg-lifting. Here are a few highlights and lowlights from the Oracle-SAP trial after two days.

Just a quick refresh. SAP acquired TomorrowNow, a third-party PeopleSoft support provider, in 2005, shortly after Oracle acquired PeopleSoft. SAP had planned to use TomorrowNow as a gateway to PeopleSoft customers. Unfortunately for SAP, TomorrowNow had engaged in a methodical practice of downloading massive amounts of PeopleSoft software and support documentation, violating copyrights. This practice continued under SAP, and extended to other Oracle products. SAP has admitted liability and the trial is now about damages -- anywhere between $40m and $2b, as best anyone can tell.

But while the trial will ultimately determine the monetary damages, for a few weeks it will be about exposing some of the underbelly of these two fierce competitors.

The big flip flop. When SAP set out on its mission to make TomorrowNow a linchpin in its Safe Passage strategy, bent on turning Oracle customers into SAP buyers, it was so bullish about the prospects of its $10m acquisition, it thought it could grow revenue by hundreds of millions within three years, and knock 10 percent off Oracle's share price, according to documents provided as evidence in the trial. Other documents depict Oracle executives as being so dismissive of SAP's new appendage, Oracle was practically willing to concede what it called "laggard" customers (another Oracle exec called them "bastards").

In an e-mail, Oracle executive Juan Jones sarcastically compared Safe Passage to No Child Left Behind, Clear Skies and the Patriot Act. Oracle executive Jeff Henley said in an e-mail to co-President Safra Katz and Larry Ellison: "I don't believe we lost any large customers because of this. If we lost, we lost to SAP for other reasons." Oracle exec Chris Hummel said: "If we present a strong case... customers should continue to choose Oracle software and upgrade to newer versions, TomorrowNow is irrelevant."

Now, SAP would have us believe that of the 86 companies that became TomorrowNow customers and then switched to SAP software, only two of them could have switched because of TomorrowNow, and probably not even them. SAP is quick to admit that TomorrowNow and Safe Passage utterly failed. Meanwhile, Oracle would have you believe that this No Child Left Behind scheme was so insidious that... well, Larry Ellison might be even higher than sixth richest in the world if SAP had negotiated for these licenses up front.

Bastards.

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll