I hesitated to re-hash this issue, but think it’s important to do so. For years, in the 1980’s and 1990’s Oracle and SAP have heavily targeted large businesses to use their respective ERP technologies.
In the past 5 years or so, the big business market is just about all sold out. There’s only so many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 and 1,000 businesses to sell to.
After that you get down into the thousands of small businesses – 50? 100+ employee size.
These are not the businesses that need QuickBooks (there’s millions of them), but the several thousand growing businesses and “larger” small businesses who need something more powerful.
Interestingly some of these companies were already buying SAP and Oracle’s software but increasingly SAP and Oracle are heavily and specifically targeting these smaller businesses.
The WSJ writes about a survey by Nucleus Research, a technology-research firm in Wellesley, Mass with about 30 each of SAP and Oracle customers.
The survey by Nucleus constitutes only a small sample of the companies’ customer bases. Nucleus undertakes and funds its own independent research; the SAP-Oracle study wasn’t commissioned by any company. Projects were on time for 78% of Oracle customers interviewed, compared with 69% of SAP customers. Projects were on budget for 63% of Oracle customers that participated in the survey, compared with 45% of SAP customers. And 93% of Oracle customers said they got a positive return on investment on the software project, compared with 41% of SAP customers. When respondents were asked whether they would recommend the software to other companies like them, 89% of Oracle customers said they would, compared with 66% for SAP.
Of course these are NOT the only players – Microsoft, NetSuite, Salesforce.com, Everest Software and others compete in this space as well.
It’s not an easy choice to choose what software to power your $20 Million or $100 Million business. But you have to do it.
If you have silos of information, can’t manage employee growth and don’t know one customer from another – you are going to be losing money and not being as competitive in the marketplace as you need to be to survive.
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