Although their recently launched referral programs are similar, Oracle's is driven by financial gain while SAP's is focused on building relationships with its channel partners, says Ovum.
SAP earlier this month announced the launch of a business referral program targeted at small to midsize businesses (SMBs), in which it will pay for leads for new business. Channel partners will get a 5 percent cut of a deal's net software license value, according to SAP.
Oracle's program pays a similar 5 percent, capped at US$50,000.
Warren Wilson, Ovum research director, said in a statement the programs "should pay a double dividend" in bringing in new business and helping to identify new partners for the two software giants.
The program will offer the opportunity for the two rival companies to evaluate which of the partners will be most productive or can best fill gaps in their market coverage, said Wilson.
However, the differences between the two vendors' programs may be their emphasis, noted Wilson.
"Oracle's lead message is the money," said Wilson, adding that its programs focus on increasing deal volumes.
"SAP, by contrast, emphasizes deep engagement, building long-term relationships and two-way loyalty through co-innovation programs in which the partner helps to define the Web services that will underpin the solution.
"Which method is more effective is a question that the market will take years to answer," said Wilson.