Additional Caveats Obscure Oracle’s TPC Benchmark

Since my piece on Oracle’s recent TPC-C was posted, interesting emails have pointed me to additional price/performance data, and I thought I’d offer a bit of that to my readers. One of the more interesting came from the admittedly biased Conor O’Mahony, a DB2 product manager for IBM. In his blog, Conor points out some interesting elements to Oracle’s pricing and support for the system tested. To wit: “the IBM result includes pricing for 24×7 support, upgrade protection, and perpetual licenses; the Oracle result does not include any of these features.” It turns out that Oracle uses a less costly, 3 year term license for the benchmark. After 3 years, the user has to re-up (or just buy a regular license.) The support piece is equally interesting; Oracle’s Incident Support offering – with up to 10 Web-based incident requests per server and no phone support or future upgrades – is used for the benchmark system pricing. Read more of this post

SAP Promises Acceleration on a “Clear Path” – Will it Be Enough?

The economic slowdown was not kind to SAP in 2009, and as it launched the annual Influencer Summit on December 8th, change was in the air. Messages were shifting. “Sustainability” got a big push, and there was a ringing commitment to substantial, dramatic product change to be delivered in 2010. Different faces were on display: there was no Leo Apotheker or Bill McDermott on the stage, although Board members Jim Hagemann Snabe and John Schwarz held down the fort with new Marketing EVP Jonathan Becher and CTO Vishal Sikka in key speaking slots. Like the dances I went to in high school, the event was mostly date-free, but direct questions elicited some specific, though uncommitted, statements about deliveries in 2010, especially from Marge Breya. Read more of this post

Rimini Street Slashes Maintenance Costs For Big Apps

Many SAP and Oracle apps customers would rather leave stable products alone than continually change, or “upgrade,” as it is called. For these customers, the cost of maintenance, also known as “buying it all over again every 4 years,” seems excessive. The slow pace of innovation from the mammoth firms, and the even slower uptake of those innovations, amplifies this. (For a recent discussion of this problem, see video highlights from Ray Wang’s keynote speech from the SAP UK and Ireland User Group. I discussed the resounding thud heard from Oracle’s “wait till next year” non-announcement of its Fusion apps here.)

With this backdrop, Rimini Street, one of the pioneering 3rd-party maintenance firms, recently announced stellar Q3 results: revenue up 200% year over year, and sequential quarter-over-quarter growth continuing: it claimed Q3 invoicing doubled the prior calendar quarter. Rimini Street’s value proposition has steadily attracted customers willing to try a different way. The company claims hundreds of customers since inception, all over the size spectrum. The offer is simple: their base price is 50% of the vendor’s maintenance price. Read more of this post