Oracle vs. SAP: Battle of the Winter 2009-2010 Balance Sheets

A head-to-head examination of how the two software giants' revenues, executives and strategies fared during their most recent quarters.

Everyone loves to pit Oracle and SAP against one another—including the executives of the two behemoths that sell ERP, CRM, BI and supply chain software.

Now that SAP just released its fourth-quarter earnings (Oracle did so in late December 2009), now is as good a time as any to break down—in a head-to-head balance-sheet battle—just how each fared, as CIO.com has done previously.

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In addition, we'll look at the burning questions facing each vendor now, and what the "safe harbor" outlook for 2010 is. (Two things to note: Oracle's and SAP's fiscal years don't run on the same calendar periods. So I'm actually looking at Oracle's Q2 FY 2010 numbers vs. SAP's Q4 FY 2009 numbers. "Change" compares the most recent quarter's GAAP results to the quarter the year previous.)

Total Revenues / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$5.9B / +4%
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$4.5B / -9%

Net Income / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$1.5B / +12%
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$1.1B / -12%

Total Operating Margins / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

37% / +2 percentage points
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33% / -3.5 percentage points

Software Revenues / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$1.7B / +2%
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$1.6B / -15%

Service & Support Revenues / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$3.2B / +14%
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$3.6B / -4%

Total Number of Employees (at end of quarter) / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

83,366 / -3,291
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47,578 / -3,922

Earnings Conference Call Quote

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

Oracle co-president Charles Phillips: "Exadata is on fire. The main problem we have now is production capacity."
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SAP CEO Leo Apotheker: "Q4 2008 was a record quarter, the best in the history of the business. That's the main reason for the decline [in Q4 2009]."

What Maintenance and Support Problem?

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

Maintenance revenue "is a number that's always going to go up because customers feel they're getting a fantastic value for it." -Safra Catz, Oracle co-president
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"We'll be fine. We anticipate that the majority of our customers will stay on Enterprise Support." -Bill McDermott, SAP executive board member and president of global field operations

Big, Scary Numbers to Consider

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

GAAP operating cash flow on a trailing 12-month basis: $8.7 billion, up 7%.
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CEO Apotheker wants to have 1 billion SAP users by 2014.

New Rival

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

IBM
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NetSuite

"Forward-Looking" Statements

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

CEO Larry Ellison on the much anticipated Fusion Applications: It'll be made up of "components" that will not necessitate a "rip-and-replace sales strategy." Still no ship date.
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SAP executives expect software and software-related service revenue to increase by between 4% and 8% in 2010.

Nagging Questions

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

Now that the Sun deal is done, does this make 'Snoracle' too big? How long will Oracle remain "untouchable" from the 22% maintenance mess? Fusion Apps: A Miracle or Mirage?
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Are Two Tiers of maintenance and support pricing Too Little, Too Late? How hot is the seat where CEO LEO sits? The lawsuit-that-shall-not-be-named (TomorrowNow) just got worse for SAP.

Table by Thomas Wailgum

Do you Tweet? Follow me on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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