Oracle vs. SAP: Partner Reality Check
Forgive The VAR Guy if he sounds a bit confused, but our resident blogger has been scratching his head recently while reading channel coverage involving Oracle and SAP — especially amid a surprise CEO change at SAP. Here’s some perspective.
When Oracle finalized its buyout of Sun Microsystems a few days ago, some pundits worried Oracle planned to take more and more of its business direct. The VAR Guy called for calm, and pointed out that Oracle would balance its direct and indirect sales efforts while continuing to invest in the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized Program.
Fast forward to the present, and the Oracle naysayers are now cheering Oracle’s decision to hire Sun’s former channel chief. Yes indeed, it was a smart move on Oracle’s part. But the media has to be careful not to flip-flop its Oracle position on a daily basis — especially as some Sun and MySQL executives now allegedly depart Oracle.
SAP CEO Change
Oh, and speaking of departures: Lots of folks are watching SAP’s surprise CEO shakeup — triggering concerns and questions on Wall Street.
For solutions providers, SAP and Oracle are here for the long haul. But watch the cloud and SaaS market dynamics closely. Instead of building its own SaaS empire, Oracle continues to promote its middleware, database and applications as platforms for SaaS partners to use.
Hmmm… What does all this mean? In short, Oracle plans to bolster both direct and indirect sales, while rallying partners to build out their own SaaS services. Meanwhile, SAP is changing CEOs as the company tries to sort out a maintenance fee strategy and a SaaS strategy. But most of the media continues to overlook the fact that SAP does have hosting partners in place.
No doubt, SAP will take some lumps in the days ahead as the media analyzes the CEO change. But remember: Generally speaking, software companies aren’t all good or all bad. Whether it’s Oracle or SAP, their respective partner efforts continue to have loyal backers … and detractors.