Oracle outclassed: Firms prefer SAP pros more

By Benny Thomas   |   Thursday, 31 December 2009, 10:21 Hrs   |    13 Comments
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Oracle outclassed: Firms prefer SAP pros more
Bangalore: With the SAP versus Oracle battle for business applications supremacy raging on, the expected growth in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software market in 2010 may result in SAP professionals gaining an advantage over their Oracle counterparts. A quick survey reveals that SAP professionals are in more demand compared to Oracle. "We are seeing a lot of demand for SAP professionals, because the reach of SAP is more in the market compared to Oracle," says Rishi Das, Co-Founder and CEO of CareerNet Consulting.

Over the last couple of decades, both SAP and Oracle have demonstrated their capabilities to adapt to the changing economic situations. SAP was started as an ERP company, while Oracle was founded as a tools company. Today, SAP is still an ERP company that some say is "innovation free," whereas Oracle has evolved into a different entity. Today, Oracle provides software components like middleware, development tools, and ERP/CRM/HRMS. The evolution of these companies shows why SAP has the core competency advantage.

According to Rahul Jain, Country Director of SAP education partner Lithan Genovate, the demand for SAP professionals is increasing because of the market leadership that SAP enjoys. "Today, 65 percent of the ERP market share is with SAP and only 13 percent with Oracle, which reveals the whole picture," Jain says. Jain points out that companies initially invest more for implementing SAP, but the return on investment is much higher.

A study conducted by Panorama Consulting Group reveals why SAP has the advantage over Oracle, though the implementation of the latter is faster and cheaper than the former. The study, which covered over 1,300 implementations across the globe, found that on average, Oracle is implemented in less time and at a lower cost than SAP. Even when adjusted for variances in company size and scope, Oracle is implemented at a lower cost and in less time.

However, SAP customers are more satisfied than Oracle's. When the two metrics are considered - executive satisfaction and employee satisfaction - SAP scored higher than Oracle. In fact, SAP had the highest satisfaction rating of all the ERP vendors included in the study.

Forrester Research predicts that ERP software revenue from new licenses would have fallen 24 percent in 2009. However, 2010 looks good for ERP for several reasons such as the growth in open-source market and players like Microsoft broadening its ERP offerings. However, the most interesting predictions by analysts for 2010 are that SAP's Business ByDesign offering will do well and Oracle will start delivering on its Fusion applications strategy, both these products may turn out be the latest ammunitions for the companies to battle it out against each other.

Though Oracle's current market share may do less harm to SAP, Anuj Agrawal, Director of Zyoin believes that the acquisitions that Oracle has been making in the recent past, especially the Sun Microsystems deal, may alter the ERP market.

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