SAP hits back in Oracle cloud spat: I am rubber, you are glue, we have twice as many ERP installations as you

Big words from co-CEO after Larry Ellison ribs vendor during earnings call


Death, taxes and vendor feuds seem the only certainties to which the disheartened technology careerist can cling in these troubled times.

SAP co-CEO Christian Klein has claimed in an interview with the Cloud Wars blog that the company has twice as many ERP installations in the cloud than sworn rival Oracle.

Klein also took the opportunity to declare that CEOs are now, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, asking: "How can I transform my supply chain with SAP to have the end-to-end transparency? How can you infuse AI so that my supply chain is better at predicting demand and ensuring that it's aligned with the supplies I have in procurement, in inventory, and in production?"

Whether his interpretation of your average boardroom conversations is entirely verbatim or not, Klein's views on market dominance follow some pretty hard-hitting jibes from Oracle.

On the back of lukewarm financial results [PDF] at the end of last year, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison boasted in the company's Q2 2020 earnings call that Big Red's cloud wins put it ahead of SAP. He claimed that the German vendor is struggling because it never rewrote its software for the cloud.

Now, perhaps it is best not to attract attention to Oracle's success, or otherwise, in moving customers to the cloud. After all, the database and application vendor is facing claims, which it has denied, that it misled investors about the sales of its cloud products by threatening customers with expensive software licensing audits unless they agreed to use Oracle's cloud software.

In February, the City of Sunrise Firefighters' Pension Fund took a third stab at articulating its claim against the database giant.

The complaint filed documents alleging: "Oracle was largely unable to sell its defect-ridden cloud technology in bona fide transactions, as very few customers actually wanted to buy it. Yet the Company had to show burgeoning cloud sales in order to remain viable in the eyes of investors."

An Oracle spokesperson previously told The Register: "The suit has no merit and Oracle will vigorously defend against these claims."

We've asked Oracle to comment on the ERP installations claims.

Maybe Oracle and SAP are bound to have beef, or perhaps it's a sign of desperation within these two dominant dinosaurs. They might be the largest players in their market, but both are playing catch-up in the cloud, where they will struggle to get used to playing second fiddle to the leading triumvirate. ®

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