Oracle’s Larry Ellison Launches Fresh Attacks On SAP And AWS

‘Oracle’s taking massive amounts of share away from SAP ERP,’ Oracle Co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison said on the company’s quarterly earnings call. ‘It’s crucial to our future.’


Oracle on Tuesday launched new salvos against rivals SAP and Amazon Web Services, with Oracle Co-Founder and CTO Larry Ellison slamming SAP over its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and attacking AWS over the Amazon Aurora database service.

To win the battle against SAP, Oracle’s strategy is to own the market for cloud ERP systems and then own industry-specific applications, Ellison told analysts on the call for the company’s fourth quarter financial results for the three months ended May 31. Ellison mentioned wanting to own the market for applications in manufacturing and customer relationship management (CRM) in particular.

“Oracle Fusion and NetSuite are now the world‘s two most popular cloud ERP systems,” Ellison said. “SAP, the leader in on-premises ERP, never rewrote their ERP system for the cloud. This has caused hundreds of customers to abandon SAP and migrate to Oracle Fusion ERP. That’s already happened.

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“Over the coming months, several more major banks and utilities and a lot of other companies will complete their Oracle Fusion implementation projects and go live on Fusion ERP,” Ellison continued. “Oracle’s taking massive amounts of share away from SAP ERP. It’s crucial to our future.”

[RELATED: SAP Touts Cloud Gains, Dismisses Oracle’s Competitive Claims]

Ellison said SAP “entirely missed the boat” on ERP in the cloud on Oracle’s previous earnings call in March.

In April, SAP CEO Christian Klein spoke of the software giant’s sales growth in cloud computing while dismissing claims by Oracle of competitive wins. “Q1 was a blowout quarter in the cloud,” Klein said at the time.

“We really see it as a positive sign that our competitors spend so much time talking about SAP in their earnings calls,” an SAP spokesperson told CRN via email. “We’re confident in our strategy and remain completely focused on our customers’ success.”

Ellison said his company’s quarterly growth is driven by 60 percent new customers and 40 percent existing customers upgrading from on-premises to Oracle Fusion. But Oracle potentially winning the battle with SAP could see more new customers come Ellison’s way, he said.

“We think that trend is actually going to accelerate in favor of new customers because the SAP migration phenomena is relatively recent -- over the last two years, but it’s really accelerating now in the last 12 months,” he said. “We think that’s going to hold.”

As for AWS, while Ellison didn’t mention AWS on the earnings call with analysts, a company statement released Tuesday said that an upgrade to Oracle MySQL to include parallel processing query engine HeatWave puts Oracle MySQL at “10 to 100 times faster” than AWS’ Aurora database product.

“This technological breakthrough is causing several of Amazon‘s customers to start moving their Aurora workloads to Oracle MySQL,” Ellison said in the company statement.

AWS representatives did not respond to a request for comment. In January, AWS announced the next generation of Amazon Aurora Serverless, the on-demand, auto-scaling configuration for the Amazon Aurora relational database service, which is AWS’ fastest growing service in its history.

Oracle’s investments in growing its cloud business continue to pay off when it comes to sales. Without stating figures, the Austin, Texas-based tech giant reported that Fusion ERP sales grew 30 percent in the third quarter and 46 percent in the fourth quarter.

Fusion HCM grew 23 percent in the third quarter and 35 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Oracle. NetSuite grew 24 percent in the third quarter and 26 percent in the fourth quarter.

Santhosh Nair, vice president at St. Louis-based Oracle partner Perficient, told CRN that his company is investing in growing its business around Oracle HCM cloud and sees “significant opportunities” in its client base, particularly in health care.

Perficient’s Oracle customers now see closer parity between Oracle’s on-premises and cloud offerings, he said. Customers want to see more automation, better scalability, out-of-the-box solutions and the easier updating process that are all possible with cloud offerings instead of on-premises.

“When it comes to core systems needed to run your business, Oracle has established itself as a global leader with its enterprise cloud platform including ERP, SCM, HCM and EPM offerings, and that’s really taking hold with our customers,” he said.

Perficient is also investing in its industry strategy so that it aligns with industry-specific Oracle applications. “We already have a strong footing with health care and life sciences, and we’re shaping our plans for the manufacturing, energy and utility industries,” Nair said.

For the fourth quarter of Oracle’s fiscal year, total sales reached $11.2 billion, an 8 percent increase year over year, according to the company. Cloud services and license support sales reached $7.4 billion, up 8 percent year over year.

Cloud license and on-premises license sales reached $2.1 billion, up 9 percent year over year, according to Oracle.

Despite the company’s strong performance for the quarter, Oracle’s stock traded at about $77.65 a share after hours, down about 5 percent.