Eye on Oracle

Nov 23 2010   8:36PM GMT

As Oracle vs. SAP battle dies down, could Oracle vs. HP battle heat up?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

While there’s a good chance that Oracle will emerge the winner in the Oracle vs. SAP trial that’s finally nearing its conclusion, the software giant might not be as lucky when it comes to another vendor battle — Oracle vs. HP.

First of all, Larry Ellison’s attempts to subpoena Leo Apotheker — even going as far as to hire private eyes to track down the HP CEO — have ultimately failed. Ellison’s lawsuit is now in the hands of a jury, and Apotheker managed to stay away from the courtroom while on a supposed world tour visiting with HP employees and customers.

Apotheker seems to have gotten the last laugh, too. While talking to reporters after Monday’s earnings call, one reporter asked him where he was, to which Apotheker replied:

“You mean physically right now? That’s a bit of an odd question… in Palo Alto, at HP’s headquarters together with a bunch of people. Would you like a picture?”

The success of HP’s earnings call extends far beyond Apotheker’s comments. Not only did the company outperform expectations and become more profitable and gain market share, but it gained market share in its most profitable segments, according to an article in Barron’s. Apotheker praised HP, noting that a “competitor” has been unsuccessful in its attempts to distract the company.

Reports have also surfaced today that HP is dropping Oracle Siebel for Salesforce.com as its internal CRM provider.  This would be a huge loss to Oracle, since if the deal goes through, HP would replace 35,000 to 40,000 seats of Oracle Siebel with Salesforce.com. Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, has said that Oracle is “very furious” after hearing this news.

As HP becomes more of a threat to Ellison and Oracle, how much longer will the Oracle-HP alliance be able to survive?

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