Oracle Boasts of OFF SAP Program Success

About a month after it was launched, Oracle's OFF SAP program has piqued the interest of more than 230 SAP R/3 customers, the database behemoth announced.

About a month after it was launched, Oracles OFF SAP program has piqued the interest of more than 230 SAP R/3 customers, the database behemoth announced on Tuesday.

Oracle launched the OFF SAP (Oracle Fusion for SAP) program to lure R/3 customers into switching to Oracles E-Business Suite.

OFF SAP was a tit-for-tat maneuver after SAP in January announced its Safe Passage customer migration program that provides PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards users—then newly acquired by Oracle—a 75 percent credit toward a mySAP ERP implementation.

OFF SAP offers up to 100 percent license credit for SAP R/3 customers who switch to Oracle applications.

Oracle Financing also offers a two-year payment plan for the application license and support fees, with no interest and no payments for six months, followed by six installments.

In Oracles announcement on Tuesday, the company cited incentives that are causing R/3 customers to consider making the switch, including the need to re-license and re-implement applications in order to upgrade from R/3 to mySAP ERP or mySAP Business Suite.

Bob Markham, an analyst for Forrester, said he wouldnt be surprised if a poll of SAP users were to come up with a good amount of people interested in switching.

"SAP is hardly immune from this," he said. "There were a lot of bad deals in the late 90s that went down" and resulted in SAPs gaining a bad reputation, he said.

Complaints concerned complex implementations and technology deals that didnt work or were such a "massive headache that it was hard for companies to get ROI out of it, or if they did, to justify the pain and suffering," Markham said.

Perhaps, but nobody switches ERP systems lightly. "Most organizations that bought ERP dont want to do it again," said Tony Baer, an analyst with onStrategies. "SAP wanted to poach a lot of PeopleSoft customers. I dont think it was particularly successful. Its all tit for tat."

But with its Safe Passage program, SAP was more successful in one respect: It can name some 14 PeopleSoft customers who switched to SAP, including J.D. Edwards user Samsonite.

That, Oracle cannot do. Of the 230 companies it said are considering switching to Oracle from SAP, Oracles press release contained no names.

An Oracle spokesperson said thats because its still too early in their decision-making process for these potential Oracle customers to talk about it.

Predictably, SAPs Bill Wohl, vice president of product public relations, had a different take. He said that while theres ample reason for PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards users to switch to SAP, theres no good reason for SAP users to switch to Oracle.

"First, Oracles own strategy, Project Fusion, to create a new set of tools, a new platform, new applications that they will deliver between 2008 and 2013, means all those customers will change their solutions anyway," he said. "Theyre facing the sunset of solutions theyre already running. … They have to make a change. The question is, Do I put my trust and faith in Oracle, the database leader, to make an enterprise application strategy for the future?"

As far as the SAP customers that Oracle points to as being concerned about upgrading, Wohl pointed to SAPs hold on the No. 1 position in the enterprise applications market.

"If theyre so concerned, how is it that SAP keeps growing its share of market, at Oracles expense?" he said.


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