CLOUD WARS – Cloud computing, which has already triggered massive disruptions across industries in business models and traditional pecking-orders, is giving Oracle Corp. a once-in-a-generation chance to displace arch-enemy SAP as the world leader in enterprise applications.
For decades, SAP has been the world leader in enterprise applications and Oracle has been the front-runner in enterprise databases, with both companies retaining their leadership positions in spite of the seismic shifts in the industry caused by the moves from mainframes to minicomputers to client-server to the Internet.
Oracle's recent surge in cloud-applications revenue - it sold $1 billion in SaaS apps during the quarter ended May 31 and $3.4 billion for the year give it a legitimate chance to overtake SAP as the world's #1 provider of enterprise applications, particularly in the massive cloud ERP market.
In the combined category of on-premise apps plus cloud apps, it's still not very close as SAP's revenue for that category doubles that of Oracle for the corresponding set of products and services:
- Oracle: For the 3 months ending May 31, it reported combined applications revenue of $2.86 billion: $964 million for SaaS apps and $1.9 billion for on-premise (see full details on page 10 of the Oracle press release).
- SAP: For the 3 months ending June 30, it reported combined applications revenue for cloud plus on-premise of $5.61 billion (see full details on page 7 of the SAP press release).