SAN FRANCISCO: Oracle president Mark Hurd played down the significance of its rivalry with SAP and its declining hardware business at the firm's OpenWorld show on Monday, asserting that Oracle bears no comparison to SAP HANA and is doing just fine with engineered systems.
Speaking to the media, Hurd acknowledged that overall the hardware business is in decline across the industry, as evidenced by the firm’s recent financials. For the three months ending 31 August, Oracle’s hardware sales dropped to $1.3bn, down from the $1.4bn taken during June to August 2012. By comparison, the firm’s software revenues grew from $5.7bn to $6.1bn over the same period and the business increased sales by $200m overall.
“I agree that generally hardware makers are on the decline, the server business is flat to down this year, and the last year wasn’t so great either,” Hurd said. “But Oracle engineered systems are up 60 percent. We clearly gained a lot of share. Forty percent of those customers were brand new to Oracle, and 60 percent bought again.”
Oracle’s engineered systems include the Exadata Database Machine and Big Data Appliance, which ship with pre-integrated software and hardware.
Hurd also used the opportunity to distance Oracle’s new in-memory option for its 12c database from SAP’s HANA platform.
“I don’t like it when the in-memory option gets compared to HANA, I don’t think it’s comparable,” he said. “HANA has to be programmed, what we’re talking about has nothing to do with that. We’re talking about moving your data from here to there and just flicking a switch, there’s no code to be written.”
Hurd was no doubt reacting to the industry response to its in-memory announcement on Sunday that this was a case of Oracle playing catch up with SAP. “I refute the thesis that [HANA is] even a comparison,” he maintained. “If you’re an Oracle database customer, the opportunity to flick the switch and get the in-memory option is a huge advantage. This isn’t the first time Oracle has had in-memory. Inside of Exalytics we have a 4TB capability. We’ve been in-memory long before HANA was a product.”
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