If you think that Oracle is going to back off from its lawsuit against SAP’s TomorrowNow subsidiary just because SAP is shutting the organization down, think again. A few days after SAP announced the shutdown, Oracle added fresh allegations to its lawsuit that SAP’s top brass knew TomorrowNow was operating illegally before they acquired the third-party maintenance firm. The revised lawsuit also accuses SAP board members and top executives of conspiring to cover up TomorrowNow’s illegal activities. The suit even claims that the German software giant gave the cover-up a name — Project Blue — replete with presentations that came with instructions to “delete after reading”.
Before I comment further on this story, let me make it clear that the following statements are pure conjecture on my part. That said, is it just a coincidence that Oracle filed this amended lawsuit several days after SAP announced it is shutting down TomorrowNow? I doubt it. While neither Oracle nor SAP has said a word to us about the lawsuit, it would be reasonable to conclude that Oracle’s attorneys have been gathering evidence for the new allegations for some time. They would certainly have had good reasons to do so. If SAP deep sixed TomorrowNow, Oracle would need to quickly marshal evidence that the wrongdoing was not limited to TomorrowNow (something that SAP has steadfastly maintained) but reached all the way up into SAP’s management. That would be the only way to keep the legal fires burning under the case.
Could SAP CEO Henning Kagermann and his colleagues have known that TomorrowNow posed legal hazards for SAP from the start? It is possible, but that is for the courts to decide. By insisting that the legal system must do so, Oracle has opened a new chapter in this lawsuit that could escalate its battle with SAP to a new level of vitriol.
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