IBM, SAP Aim their Sights at Oracle

IBM recently announced that it will help its clients make the transformation from Oracle software to its own in more than one way. Not only does the tech giant vow to help with training efforts of its clients when it comes to becoming familiar with new software, but it will also finance them to make the shift a more attractive one.

The announcement of this concentrated allocation of resources to its new clients is taking place due to the massive shift of IT clients who have shifted or will shift away from Oracle’s grasp and into that of IBM.  One only has to look at statistics from 2010 to see actual evidence of this trend.  According to Zacks Investment Research, over 1,000 IT clients moved from Oracle Database to IBM’s DB2 software.  During that same time frame, an additional 400 clients migrated from Oracle WebLogic to IBM’s WebSphere Application Server.

The reasons behind these shifts vary per company, but mostly center around the various growth opportunities IBM’s programs provide as well as their cost effectiveness.  In the case of the WebSphere Application Server, IBM updated the software to enhance business applications in a multitude of areas, such as installation, testing, maintenance, and troubleshooting.  The software’s services are all provided while keeping the client’s control and security in mind as well.  While WebSphere’s features are solid, the flexibility in the environments where the software can be implemented is just as impressive.  WebSphere can support applications in a desktop environment, as well as a mobile one on popular device categories such as smartphones and tablets.

As stated, IBM will help ease the shift to its software by providing extensive client training.  In addition, IBM Global Financing is offering zero percent financing for 12 months to clients who qualify.  Qualifying for the offer will supposedly be a quick process, and it will not require the purchase of any hardware.  While the interest-free financing is attractive within itself, IBM will also provide flexible payment options to entice potential clients into making the switch.

IBM’s offer to help clients migrate to its software should add to the company’s already impressive pipeline.  IBM already helps a plethora of clients based all over the world in managing their IT environments.  Its dedication with respect to innovation and new technologies will continue to make it an attractive choice for the needs of many businesses in the future.

One of the areas in which IBM has increased its presence is cloud computing.  Cloud computing is seen by many as the wave of the future for the advantages it brings to the table.  Among them are upgraded services, increased security, and the ability of companies to share the cost of resources.  Zacks Investment Research estimates that by the year 2015, the cloud computing market will reach revenues in the neighborhood of $7 billion.  IBM appears to have a solid position in the cloud computing market, but it does have competition in the form of Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, and other tech players.

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{mospagebreak title=SAP hopes to increase its database market share}

Clients using Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and other platforms for their database needs may soon have another alternative to consider.  At the Sapphire conference in Orlando earlier this week, SAP announced that it will complete porting its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application to the Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) database by the end of this year.  The move could allow SAP to make some noise in the database market, as it would offer cost advantages over some of its more widely known competitors.

As it stands, Sybase ASE’s market share is overshadowed by the likes of Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft.  One area where ASE does have a strong presence is with financial institutions.  Once SAP finishes the porting process, it promises that its ERP customers will be equipped with a database equal to the one “that powers Wall Street.”

The porting is just a sign of things to come from SAP, as the company revealed that any future releases of ERP will already come certified out-of-the box with those of ASE.  In order to make release and deployment planning easier for clients, SAP also said that it will synchronize ASE’s life cycle with SAP maintenance policies.  Joining business software of ASE and SAP means that customers will be offered a more consolidated avenue via a single company for dealing with items such as operations efficiency, licensing, and more.

Although the news from SAP should open some eyes, actual details are still unknown.  At the time of the announcement, no specifics were disclosed regarding the resources SAP would give customers to assist with the shift to Sybase.  Pricing information was also unavailable, but should become available in the near future.  Once SAP does announce its pricing, it could cause Oracle to tweak its own price tag to avoid losing existing or potential clients.  The price-focused announcement is a bit of a departure from the norm for SAP, as the company usually centers its pitches on mobility, software as a service, and in-memory computing.

Besides transitional resources and pricing, another item that remains uncertain is how ASE will be able to function alongside SAP’s younger HANA in-memory database.  While HANA’s main focus has been on analytic workloads, some believe it could be used in the realm of transactional systems too.

Other SAP/Oracle news involves Intel’s Itanium chips.  Oracle recently announced that it would cease developing software for the chips, giving SAP the opportunity to step in.  Itanium chips are used by Hewlett-Packard’s Integrity servers and also run the company’s HP-UX platform.  SAP recently revealed that it would honor a long-term commitment to the HP-UX OS not only for its business applications, but also ASE.

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