VMWare, an industry leader in cloud infrastructure and virtualization products for businesses, recently announced that the updated release of its Spring 3.1 open source Java development framework comes with enhanced compatibility to include support for the following major extensions: Spring Batch, Spring Data, Spring Integration, Spring Security, Spring Mobile, and Spring for Android.
Oracle, the third-largest software maker in the world, suffered a rare setback in December when it failed to reach its earning estimates for the first time in over ten years. The company cited the volatile global economy as the major factor behind the lapse, and many found the reasoning to be logical at the time. The global economy excuse can only go so far, however, and analysts are pointing to a fledgling hardware division, competition from SAP, and a broken partnership with Hewlett-Packard reasons behind Oracle’s decline.
Rick Sherlund, an analyst with Nomura Securities, described Oracle as “a company with some issues right now.” Its $5.6 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2010 has evolved into a hardware business that has failed to meet sales goals. Oracle’s status as the world’s largest manufacturer of database software is being threatened by industry rival SAP, and its latest business management software launched last year has not taken off as expected. With competitors such as IBM, Salesforce.com, VMware, and the aforementioned SAP all posting positive results and looking at optimistic outlooks, investors are wondering if it’s time to jump from the Oracle ship.
According to some analysts, Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has backfired since it effectively put the company in direct competition with hardware manufacturers who served as some of its top resellers of products. Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM continue to resell Oracle’s products, but Fred Hickey, editor of the High-Tech Strategists Newsletter for investors, says they are not trying as hard as they used to. Oracle’s biggest issue lies with HP, and the companies have been to court since Oracle stopped making software for HP computers. “They made a mistake getting into the hardware business. How it resolves itself, I'm not really sure,” said Hickey.
While Oracle feuds with resellers, its rivals are pushing forward. SAP’s Hana database has easily surpassed sales goals during its first two quarters of availability. Featuring a combination of innovative technology and IBM hardware, Hana enables big data analysis for organizations. Oracle released a competing product in the form of Exalytics earlier this month, but SAP’s plans to enhance Hana for use with business applications in the realms of corporate accounting, human resources, and procurement software could be tough to beat.
Another problem facing Oracle is its new line of Fusion Apps products. Ross MacMillan, an analyst with Jefferies & Co, said Oracle’s application sales could drop as it tries to push existing customers to upgrade to Fusion Apps. The costly and time consuming upgrading process will likely cause customers to research alternative options from competitors. “If you are going to upgrade, it opens the door to look around and see what else is available,” said MacMillan.