Never likely to miss an opportunity to make life difficult for the competition, Oracle chose the eve of the Sybase International User Group in Orlando to offer its rival's customers an extende cut-price database swap deal until the end of May.
The "Sybase Swap" initiative has been in place for some time, but Oracle used last week's Sybase user gathering to extend the offer. Oracle said the scheme offers Sybase users incentives to switch allegiance, including product discounts, rebates on Sybase purchases, simplified payment schedules and migration toolsets.
The company hopes to lure away Sybase customers who are concerned about the long-term viability of their supplier following its recent losses and canned technology projects. Oracle did not provide details of how many Sybase customers have taken up its offer, saying only that "many customers and partners" have moved to the Oracle platform.
Sybase chief executive Mitch Kertzman admitted that there had been a credibility issue surrounding the company's long-term survival, but claimed those days were over with the unveiling of its new ImpactNow product architecture.
"We have done everything we said we were going to," he said, referring to the company's restructuring programme. "We are now where we expected to be at this stage. It is clear that Sybase has returned to stability."
Sybase chief information officer and co-founder Bob Epstein was bullish in his dismissal of Oracle's rival offering. "Oracle has an incredible amount of things that are just so confusing," he claimed. "What we have lacked against Oracle over the past two years is a vision. We now have that vision and one that is more accepting of Microsoft than Oracle's."
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