Eye on Oracle

Aug 14 2007   10:08AM GMT

The market battleground

Ken Cline Profile: Clinek

On its home page a few weeks ago, Oracle highlighted new Gartner data showing that its DBMS has a 47.1% market share — more than its two closest competitors combined and a healthy 15% increase in revenue from the previous year. In a $15.2 billion market, that’s a nice chunk of change.

The report reminded me of the “database wars” of old, which now almost seem like a quaint tussle compared to the current ferocious “apps wars.” For the past few years, the market appears to have settled into a semi-comfortable steady state, with Oracle #1, followed by DB2 and SQL Server, and Sybase and Teradata pulling up the rear in the single digits.

Or has it? A closer look reveals that Microsoft continues to have by far the highest growth rate: a whopping 28% increase compared with 2005. If present trends continue, SQL Server may even soon overtake DB2 and vault into second place. At an OpenWorld a few years ago, Larry Ellison jokingly mocked Microsoft as a “game manufacturer” — this was soon after the release of XBox — but he may have to put Microsoft back on his radar, especially in the small/medium-sized business market. It’ll be interesting to see how the new Database 11g will affect Oracle’s position in 2007/2008.

For the time being though, Larry is obviously preoccupied with SAP, who is leading Oracle in the apps market by roughly twenty percentage points. Our ace News Editor Mark Brunelli has written some interesting case studies recently describing what it’s like in the trenches of the apps wars:

If you’re a manager getting the hard sell from Oracle and SAP, let’s hear about it! I’d be very interested in hearing your experiences and how you will make your choice.


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  • Furqan A. Malik
    Dear Tim: I came across your article namely "The market battleground". Its an interesting one, specially considering the EBS and SAP scenario. Yes, I'm a manager, (Manager Business Applications) at Getz Pharma Pvt Ltd., a pharmaceutical company in Pakistan. We have been using Oracle e-Business Suite 11i since 2003. We are a not a huge pharmaceutical giant (at least, not yet!). We are ranked #6 in top 10 pharmaceuticals in Pakistan. We have been rated "the fastest growing pharma company in Pakistan" continuously since 1999. Our GOLY in 2006 was 57%. We are operating in Pakistan, SriLanka, Vietnam, Phillipines, Central Asia, Kenya; and the number is growing. As per our experience so far, EBS 11i gives good support to business in financials, procure to pay and order to cash areas. If we talk about manufacturing, in our case its OPM, Oracle EBS is way behind the competition. It seriously lacks industry specific functionalities in OPM. There are few issues in financials, OTC and PTP areas as well, which we attribute primary to the lack of localization. Since we are in Pakistan, for the last 1.5 years, we lack serious lack of support from Oracle partners and Oracle itself; as partners unfortunately lack the product portfolio knowledge and hence were unable to give us solution to our problems in OPM and supply chain planning. Since last year, considering the industry foot print in pharma industry, rich functionality, proven references in the market; and on top of this, ZERO response/ progress from Oracle in PK, we started evaluating SAP. Our results of evaluation, product demos and detailed discussions with SAP consultants have proven the impression correct. SAP is a serious piece of software. I'm not taking anything away from Oracle as EBS is supporting our business for quite a while. It is only the industry vertical functionalities that EBS lacks, prior to R12! It is now, that we are at the stage of selecting the best-suited ERP for our business. SAP seems a clear choice considering the fact that 7 out of top 10 pharmaceuticals in PK and India are using SAP!! Whereas Oracle's new R12 has introduced new and deep functionalities specific to pharmaceutical industry; and have revamped the entire EBS suite with better functionality and logical business concepts support. No doubt, R12 is a huge upgrade to 11i customers. As evident, we have to weigh our existing investment in EBS 11i, 11i strengths, EBS future roadmap with the battle-tested SAP product functionalities and SAP future roadmap. We have to deeply evaluate Oracle and SAP s' committment with our company in solutions delivery and long term partnership. We have to consider the product stability as well; since our experience has shown that patching is one-most-frequent-and-important-job for my 11i Apps DBA....!! Lets keep this post short. I am more than interested in getting your feedback and to discuss our approach/ current understanding as mentioned. Thank you for giving the opportunity to discuss our business case. Best Regards, Furqan A. Malik Manager Business Applications Information Technology Department Getz Pharma (Pvt) Ltd. URL: http://www.getzpharma.com
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