Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is having quite a year so far. His yacht won back the Americas cup for the USA, the EU finally let him buy Sun, and now Oracle earnings are up largely at the expense of arch-enemy SAP. Can we really blame him for using the latest news to engage in a little gloating? His exact quote was a classic example of Ellison subtlety, tack and understatement:
“Every quarter we grab huge chunks of market share from SAP. Their most recent quarter was the best quarter of their year, only down 15%, while Oracle’s application sales were up 21%. But SAP is well ahead of us in the number of CEOs for this year, announcing their third and fourth, while we only had one.”
Backing out the Sun impact, Oracle Corporation revenues were up a very respectable 7% from fiscal Q3 last year. With Sun included they increased over 17%. The headline maker was the 21% growth in application revenues that came largely at the expense of SAP. As previously reported here, JDE sales made a modest but positive contribution to that achievement.
It is going to be very hard for SAP sales reps to keep repeating the mantra to prospects that JDE is a dead product. Anyone doing the most basic research can rapidly determine that this is not the case. My own company was able to contribute a win for JDE versus SAP last quarter. In that case SAP had thrown every rock available at JDE with no success. In light of that experience I was personally pleased with Ellison’s comments. He used the earnings announcement as an opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by whacking his SAP counterparts with a verbal shillelagh.