SAP challenges Oracle's leadership claims

German business software giant takes its rival to task over market leadership claims.

SAP has lashed out at rival Oracle for making statements that the former says are untrue.

In a statement released to ZDNet Asia, SAP denounced CEO Larry Ellison's recent claim of Oracle's applications market leadership made during a conference call with analysts on Oracle's second-quarter earnings for fiscal 2006. Ellison had said that Oracle has become number one in applications in North America, and is top in the global CRM space with its Siebel acquisition.

SAP maintained that it remains the top applications software provider in the U.S. as reflected in a recent Merrill Lynch report. According to the financial management firm's report, SAP garnered US$968 million in applications license sales for 2005 in the Americas, compared to Oracle's US$558 million.

The German vendor also questioned Oracle's leadership claim in CRM since Oracle does not own Siebel yet. "Oracle can make no such claim for the current quarter, because SAP will not report its fourth quarter 2005 earnings until Jan. 25 [next year]. We believe none of these leadership claims by Ellison can be substantiated," SAP noted in its statement.

Responding to another statement released by Oracle on winning over SAP's customer, German retailer Karstadt, SAP said Karstadt Quelle remains its customer and development partner in the retail space.

SAP clarified that earlier this year, Karstadt sold off a small portion of its business to a UK financial services group. That new company, Karstadt Kompakt, evaluated a stand-alone retail solution and chose Oracle's Retek over SAP.

"Karstadt Kompakt does not have any relationship with SAP nor Karstadt Quelle. The claim by Oracle that it won over SAP's partner and customer Karstadt is not accurate at all."

Oracle could not confirm by press time which of the Karstadt companies it was referring to as its customer win.

SAP also took issue with Oracle's stated growth numbers where new application license revenue grew by 24 percent worldwide and 42 percent in North America in the second quarter of fiscal 2006.

The German rival felt that Oracle's growth would be more accurately reflected if the company included its acquisitions. SAP cited the Merrill Lynch report which showed that Oracle's applications revenue was down 45 percent organically, when accounting for the PeopleSoft and Retek acquisition.

Oracle did not respond to ZDNet Asia's request for comments by press time.

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