Australia: SAP vs Oracle

Summary:This month, Geraldine McBride, SAP Australia and New Zealand managing director and Leigh Warren, Oracle managing director for Australia and New Zealand tackle varied issues plaguing the enterprise software market.Editor's note: This report was first published in Technology and Business magazine prior to Oracle's US$10.

MCBRIDE: How has the PeopleSoft take-over issue impacted your ability to meet the needs of SMEs who are looking for ERP solutions?
WARREN: For Oracle, it has been business as usual. We have a goal of expanding Oracle's presence in the mid-market by offering applications and technologies that deliver enterprise-class functionality at SME price-points.

Oracle represents a great value proposition for SME customers. The Oracle E-Business Suite Special Edition, which includes comprehensive ERP functionality, allows smaller organisations to join the e-business economy quickly and easily, using exactly the same software as their larger counterparts.

Geraldine McBride, managing director, Australia & New Zealand

About SAP
SAP Australia & New Zealand employs more than 300 people and the comapny has over 370 customers across major industries including the public sector, manufacturing, mining, retail & CPG, utilities & telecommunications, and financial services.

With an installation time of just 10-40 days and a low total cost of ownership, the Oracle E-Business Suite Special Edition is SME-friendly. This is an area of growing strength for us in Asia-Pacific with SMEs making up at least 40 percent of Oracle's applications customer base.

Oracle's renewed focus on the channel has also been a major factor in our growing success in the mid-market. Oracle's partners play an ever more important role in the Oracle economy and over the past year, we have strengthened relationships with our partners and also engaged some new partners with specific expertise in the SME sector.

WARREN: Oracle is a firm believer in low-cost computing. Does SAP have any customers running on Linux and Intel in Australia?
MCBRIDE: SAP pioneered the movement away from large and expensive centralised Unix database servers to low-cost platforms in early '94, when SAP led the industry by porting to Windows NT running on Compaq Intel servers. With the availability of this low-cost commodity platform, we saw an upsurge in the number of customers deploying not only their Business Warehouses but also their core transaction systems on lower-cost databases such as Microsoft SQL server. This initial trend has turned into a flood within a few years with now over 57 percent of our customer base running on these lower cost platforms.

SAP supports all market standards evenly and promoted open sourced operating systems as early as Christmas of 1999 -- when it shipped its first version of R/3 on Linux. However, in the key markets for ERP systems such as Small and Medium Business or large mission-critical deployments in global companies, the demand for open systems deployment is yet to materialise.

mySAP Business Suite on Linux is currently shipping on Redhat and SuSE and supporting Intel hardware from Bull, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM, and Sun Microsystems, including both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture. We are in negotiations with other hardware vendors and expect to increase our supported platforms for the SAP base.

Topics: SAP, Enterprise Software, Oracle

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