An article published recently by editor Michael Kanellos on CNET described SAP as playing “second fiddle to Oracle.” The phrase is buried in a post about why green technology can provide a boost to European IT, and isn’t backed up by any kind of market share numbers. It’ll be interesting to see how SAP responds to this, as the company typically gets its hackles up when portrayed as anything but the leading (by revenue) company in enterprise applications.
Kanellos isn’t necessarily interested in market share, as the first part of his article is more about the weakness of European brands. In this regard, he’s the second media figure today to opine that the SAP brand is weak. Earlier, in an interview with SAP executive Bill McDermott, the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that, “Many people see SAP’s signs in train stations and airports, but don’t know what you do.”
The counterargument is that people who make technology buying decisions do know what SAP does, even if the person on the street doesn’t. If you’re interested in the strength of the SAP and Oracle brands, try canvassing the executive suite rather than the airport.
Kanellos’ article might be more of an attempt to wrangle up some free controversy and page views, reminiscent of when he claimed that the iPhone (currently doing $2 billion of business per quarter) would “largely fail.” That comment generated a lot of heat in the blogosphere and in the Apple community, and this one might in the SAP world, but in both cases it may be best to take the commentary as entertainment rather than news.
Demir Barlas, Site Editor