Top Innovator Between SAP and Oracle

May 26, 2011 · Posted in Economy 

SAP Versus Oracle

Josh Greenbaum, principal of Enterprise Applications Consulting, a Berkeley, Calif., firm that consults with end-user companies and enterprise software vendors large and small, gave his review on innovation, by comparing SAP and Oracle.

Read more from the link here.

To check out what Josh Greenbaum commented on SAP, I have provided an abstract of his words below:

1) HANA in-memory database: SAP CTO Vishal Sikka’s Sapphire keynote on Wednesday had almost an overabundance of customer testimonials on the value of HANA. I talked to a major consumer products customer who told me that with HANA he will be able to do sales analysis at the vending machine level for his products in real time, something that will make a huge difference to his company. This product is real, it’s amazing, it changes analytics for any company with a lot of data and the need to understand that data’s value in real time.

It’s not just a piece of technology: There’s a whole raft of HANA-based applications coming soon and in following years. And HANA is in a pre-beta test for a cloud deployment later this year as well. The term game changing is one I try to use as sparsely as possible, but when it comes to HANA, it seems uniquely appropriate. The buzz around HANA at Sapphire among customers was louder than any new product introduction in recent memory.

2) Mobile: The Sybase acquisition has brought the Sybase Unwired Platform and its associated technology and applications (including a set of iPad-ready mobile CRM apps that are quite slick looking) under the SAP umbrella. Marrying the billions of mobile endpoints that can be serviced by SUP with SAP’s Business Suite has the potential to change not just the cellphone/tablet world but the relationship of every mobile and sensor-based device to the back-office. While the acquisition was an Oracle-like move and hardly indicative of organic innovation, SAP’s plans to marry SUP and mobility to Hana and the SAP Business will provide a platform for some truly never-before-seen innovation. That marriage will be highly innovative, and SAP gets major points from me for making the whole significantly greater than the sum of the parts.)

3) On-demand applications: SAP is in the market today with its Business ByDesign SME suite and a pending ByDesign SDK that will let partners and customers build unique on-demand applications that use ByDesign’s full business functionality as a set of building blocks. While this is the vision of and the reality of Microsoft’s xRM SDK for Dynamics CRM, ByDesign’s palette of building blocks is significantly broader and can function as a platform for innovation, that is, until Microsoft’s own AX ERP suite becomes similarly enabled and provides SAP with some hard-to-beat innovation mojo.

SAP is also rolling out Sales On-demand. While late to market, it’s a legitimate fast-follower for the SAP customer base. SAP also has a collaborative on-demand tool, Streamwork, that’s quite innovative as well. Then there’s Carbon Impact, Sourcing On-demand, and on-demand apps for travel management, talent management, and service management will be hitting the market later this year. While SAP hardly created the on-demand market for enterprise software, it’s following fast with a steady stream of on-demand applications for specific vertical industry requirements.

4) Application deployment and upgrades: SAP’s enhancement packs, which effectively upgrade the Business Suite without actually forcing the customer to go through an upgrade, have been around for a few years and are an example of SAP’s innovation in the customer-critical application lifecycle arena. The company has followed up on these with its Rapid Deployment Solutions, which, as the name implies, deliver fixed-price industry-specific functionality wrapped in best practices that are intended to get the customer up and running quickly and cheaply. SAP has RDS for CRM, SCM, IT management, finance, and sustainability, with more on the way. These approaches to the application lifecycle are truly innovative at a time when total cost of ownership has never been more critical to customers.

5) Enterprise Performance Management and analytics: SAP is also pre-packaging its analytics offerings in order to make them more consumable at a lower TCO. I attended an early morning session at Sapphire with a group of customers that highlighted how valuable they think the EPM strategy is. Again, some of these products, like planning and consolidation, are the result of an acquisition (OutlookSoft, in this case), but many of the newer ones, like disclosure management and spend performance management, are homegrown. Hats to SAP for raising the bar on delivering analytics value while minimizing the need for consulting services.

6) The Sapphire User Conference: Then there’s the Sapphire conference itself. SAP has made a virtue out of designing a show floor and conference layout that’s so impressive it deserves special mention. The way SAP positioned conference keynotes, booth space, communications, and customer spaces was really unique, and made for a conference unlike any other in the industry. This is the second year SAP has used this layout, and it recently won an event industry award for last year’s show. The user experience at Sapphire represents an enormous contrast to the admittedly much larger Oracle OpenWorld, which is crowded, crammed, and exceptionally user-hostile by contrast.

Well, if you are interested (or want to hear about his review on Oracle), read more from here.

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