How many customers are on your current release?
94% of Oracle's customers run up-to-date Oracle Applications. 6% of SAP's customers run up-to-date SAP applications. Why is that? SAP's complex technology drags out implementations-and costs. Setup complexity is legendary. Once up, it lacks the agility to respond to changing business demands, plus upgrades are expensive. Perhaps you really should be asking SAP customers about their TCO-and their ROI. Had they known just how much they would end up spending on their implementation and support, very few SAP customers would have chosen SAP.
Which standards do you support?
Which standards do you support? MySAP Business Suite, or mySAP ERP, my SAP CRM, mySAP SRM, and mySAP SCM, are all based mostly on proprietary ABAP code. If you're looking to reduce costs, collaborate, and optimize business processes, that's not the technology that will keep your company competitive. Oracle's advanced business applications are designed to be flexible because they're based on open standards. Leading companies are tackling the complexity of their application and IT environments with Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), which facilities the development of modular business services that can be easily integrated and reused-creating a truly flexible, adaptable IT infrastructure. But that's not the result that SAP is helping its customers achieve.
What is your strategy for moving beyond generic ERP and acquiring deep industry expertise, products, and people who come from my industry?
SAP took an evolutionary path to updating their mySAP ERP product. Every year, they shipped a new release with more NetWeaver upgrades. This incremental move toward their mySAP ERP vision leaves customers hanging because they don't want new-and possibly unstable-code. So SAP needed to change its delivery strategy (see differentiator #4). Oracle, in contrast, continues to sharpen its industry focus by acquiring top tier companies--for example, ProfitLogic and Retek in the retail industry. In fact, the combination of Oracle, ProfitLogic, and Retek will create the retail industry's most comprehensive software solution.
When will SAP's mySAP ERP ESA product be available?
This September, SAP revealed that they would be providing "optional" mySAP ERP 2005 "enhancements" through 2010. This caught the marketplace and SAP customers by surprise-they had expected that at the end of the SAP ESA roadmap there would be a mySAP ERP ESA-enabled release. That's not happening. Instead, the next major release of mySAP ERP will ship in 2010-a full two years behind the delivery of Oracle Fusion. SAP customers now have reason to be concerned about whether SAP will create another "new" product on the heels of the Business Process Platform. It's all deja vu: in 2002 SAP announced that R/3 Enterprise would be the last R/3 release with yearly component-based upgrades. Instead, the company released a new product in 2003: mySAP ERP. What surprise is in store for 2007? Oracle does not believe in re-licensing the installed base on new products. We continually enhance the existing platforms under Applications Unlimited, which offers lifetime support to customers. Applications Unlimited protects our customers' technology investment and creates a superior total ownership experience.
What is your strategy for the future?
SAP's plans are vague. While they say that they offer an easier path to SOA with their new SAP Discovery System, the reality is that it takes a long time to deliver SOA applications-and SAP still has a long way to go. SAP will have to wrap old proprietary ABAP code with new SOA functionality. Independent analysts are questioning the company's ability to deliver an SOA-enabled architecture.2 Oracle has SOA today-and is committed to open standards. Once you ask the questions, the choice is clear. Only Oracle offers standards-based applications, a predictable TCO, rich industry functionality, and a commitment to open standards.