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: To what degree is the realignment of the business in ANZ changing how you operate with customers?
WARREN: The rationale behind our go-to-market model is to strengthen customer relationships by having the right expertise available at the right time for our customers. We have restructured our businesses in Australia and New Zealand to align with Oracle's global organisation in three key areas: industries, technologies, and applications. We can now work more closely with customers, partners, and governments by combining local knowledge with regional expertise to deliver greater value and foster long-term partnerships.

Our business has grown significantly in our key vertical market segments -- communications, media, utilities, retail, manufacturing, travel and transportation, engineering and construction, government, education, healthcare, and financial services. This success has been a direct result of Oracle's strategy to build deep, industry-specific solutions that integrate seamlessly with our horizontal business applications and technology platform.

WARREN: In the midst of significant marketplace consolidation in the enterprise software industry, what is SAP's next move?
MCBRIDE: Speaking from my position, running Australia and New Zealand, our customers know who we are and what we stand for, and in a rapidly changing enterprise software market, this is particularly important. We are a solid foundation on which our customers build their businesses and we will continue to engage strongly with our customers and partners. Moving forward, SAP is committed to its SMB channel partners and will extend its channel network and introduce new programs, support and solutions into this segment of the market.

Less than two years ago I set the company several goals, one being that we would double the organisation's revenue within three years, and another to grow our market share significantly faster than the norm. Today, we're on our way to achieving these business goals.

MCBRIDE: Oracle has identified that it will extend its reach through organic growth and acquisition -- can you explain which areas of your business and what type of companies you will target?
WARREN: We see tremendous opportunities for organic growth, not just in Australia but right across Asia-Pacific, especially in financial services, government, education, and healthcare. The mid-market is also a key growth area for Oracle.

In terms of acquisitions, we have three key selection criteria for identifying potential targets. Firstly, we look for global companies with strong market presence and an extensive customer base. Secondly, we look for companies that have a unique presence in a local market or a commanding position in countries of strategic interest to Oracle. Finally, we look to acquire functionality that adds value to our current product portfolio. The acquisition of Collaxa earlier this year is a case in point. Collaxa enabled Oracle to strengthen its Application Server offering by adding market leading business process management technology.

WARREN: There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace surrounding the offerings of Business One and MySAP "All in One". What is SAP doing to better market position these offerings?
MCBRIDE: I don't think there's any confusion in the minds of the more than 70 new SAP Business One customers we signed in the first 10 months of 2004; nor in the minds of the 14 mySAP All-in-One customers. Our Web site has numerous case studies and videos from both sets of customers and they are unqualified in their delight that they can now have a solution that delivers the business benefits they are looking for at a price they can afford. Both products are sold through channel partners that are signing up with SAP every month. In the last 12 months we signed 30 new partners. They have been very pleased with the marketing support they receive from SAP to help them grow their practice.

It is distinctive of SAP's strategy that we believe it is better for smaller customers with less than 250 people in the company to have a solution specifically designed for their unique business needs. SAP Business One is designed specifically for companies with as few as 10 and as many as several hundred employees. It covers the core operations necessary to run successful businesses in a single software solution, including embedded CRM, accounting/reporting, sales and distribution, MRP, purchasing, warehouse, and partner management.

Topics: SAP, Enterprise Software, Oracle

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