HP, Oracle Mum on Reported New Salesforce.com Deal

UPDATED: An analyst contends that HP is aiming to replace Oracle Siebel for its new 30K- to 40K-seat CRM deployment in favor of Salesforce.com.

Both Oracle and Hewlett-Packard declined to comment to eWEEK Nov. 23 on a contention from a Bay Area IT analyst that Hewlett-Packard is preparing to sign a huge new relationship management deal with Salesforce.com to handle 35,000 to 40,000 seats.
HP would be acing out Oracle's Siebel division, which has had a long-running partnership with HP in supplying that CRM software.
"HP is [in the process of] completely shutting down Oracle Siebel, which contacts tell us has made Oracle very furious. Contacts tell us that by moving to Salesforce, HP may be saving 40 percent to 50 percent over Oracle Siebel," Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told the International Business Times, citing his own industry contacts.
Chowdhry told eWEEK in a separate interview that from what he continues to hear from people in the industry, this is "nothing definite, but it is very likely. Siebel's replacement will happen, and very likely to happen [in favor of] Salesforce.com's product suite.
"I think what we need to keep an eye on is that Oracle's spotlight right now is on making sure the Sun acquisition is positive. Because Sun entered the hardware business, in a way their partners [including HP] have also become their competitors," Choudhry said.
An Oracle corporate spokeswoman declined comment on the issue to eWEEK, as did a Salesforce.com representative. An HP spokeswoman reiterated the company's corporate policy -- commonly held in all levels of business -- that it doesn't comment on rumor or speculation.
Oracle Siebel and Salesforce.com both sell customer relationship management [CRM] software for businesses. Oracle and HP each make the back-end infrastructure needed to support the CRM process on a 24/7 basis.
CRM combines business processes, technology and enterprise policies to obtain and keep customers. The CRM process also keeps track of customer preferences, buying habits, service requests, information requests, complaints, and many other categories.
Much of the information gained from CRM systems is now being used in business analytics in order to improve business projections.
New HP CEO might speak at Dreamforce event
Chowdhry also said in the report that Salesforce.com wants to close the deal with HP prior to its Dreamforce 2010 customer/partner/media cloud computing conference in San Francisco, set for Dec. 6 through 9.
The analyst, who's been in the business for more than 15 years and specializes in strategic mergers and acquisitions, equity research, and corporate development, said that if the deal in fact materializes, HP will build new cloud computing infrastructure for 35,000 to 40,000 seats for Salesforce.
Chowdhry also said that new HP CEO Leo Apotheker may make an appearance at Dreamforce.
"What kind of statement would that make about Oracle if the HP CEO were to appear onstage with [Marc] Benioff for the keynote?" Choudhry asked eWEEK, rhetorically.
Apotheker, who took over the HP leadership role on Nov. 1, has been a controversial figure of sorts. Oracle tried for more than a month to locate him to have him testify in an intellectual property copyright violations lawsuit against SAP, where Apotheker served as CEO or co-CEO for several years.
But the new HP CEO was not available to be in court because he was traveling around the globe, visiting his company's various offices in an effort to become more familiar with the company.
Editor's note: This story was updated to include new material from Chowdhry.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...