Where business intelligence and “big data” come together, SAP and Oracle are locked in a global battle for dominance. With the rollout of its new HANA data manager, SAP has taken a step forward that could eliminate the need for the Oracle database software that currently underpins the SAP BW business intelligence solution. Meanwhile, industry analyst Ross MacMillan at Jefferies & Company suggests that:
An increasing number of data points … suggest that Oracle’s engineered appliance strategy is not proceeding as well as planned.
This refers to Oracles strategy based on the 2009 acquisition of Sun Microsystems, manifested in new data management products that combine hardware and software, such as Exadata, Exalogic, and Exalytics. Barron’s analyst Tiernan Ray, meanwhile, calculates the potential damage to Oracle:
We conclude that on the basis of the typical BW customer running the Oracle database across 1-2 servers, then if 50% of these customers were to move to HANA, the total impact to Oracle software updates and support would be in the $350-700M range or around a 2-4.5% negative impact to software updates and support revenues.
The integration of hardware and software solutions, as well as the the introduction of Cloud-based solutions such as Salesforce and Cloudera and noSQL alternatives, suggest major changes ahead for the competitors vying to help businesses leverage massive databases. Is Oracle losing ground, or just a bit slow to articulate its new strengths? Stay tuned.
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