Oracle Claims Irritate Competitors

October 13, 2013

Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison has been talking trash about his company’s competitors, and they are not taking it lying down. Business Insider reports, “IBM and SAP Say You Shouldn’t Believe Larry Ellison’s Latest Claims About Oracle’s New Products.” The latest pair of Ellison assertions to cause a stir comes from a presentation the executive gave at Oracle’s recent conference. In that keynote speech, Ellison claims their new server is much faster and cheaper than the IBM alternative. Writer Julie Bort tells us:

“The problem is that Oracle has already been busted three times for advertising campaigns claiming that Oracle’s servers are faster, better, or cheaper than IBM’s. IBM has complained about these ads to the advertising industry’s self-regulation body, the National Advertising Division, and NAB has consistently sided with IBM and told Oracle to change the ads. When IBM asked NAB to look into the truth of a fourth campaign, NAB threw up its hands and asked The Federal Trade Commission to investigate Oracle’s ads for ‘possible law enforcement action,’ it said last month.”

Bort does note that IBM has a habit of dragging regulators into its disagreements. Still, the fact that IBM is not the only company aggrieved by Oracle‘s claims may lead some credence to its position. In the same conference presentation in which he blasted IBM’s server, Ellison asserted that Oracle’s in-memory database feature “instantly makes the database work at least 100 times faster.” SAP, home of the comparable yet cheaper HANA database, takes issue with the claim. SAP’s Hasso Plattner replied that Oracle is:

“. . . still trying to make queries run faster but missed the chance to simplify the data management at the same time. SAP HANA has been delivering real-time performance to our customers in real world environments for years.”

I have to wonder whether the controversy helps or hurts Oracle. Either way, since the company maintains a hold on about half the database market share, I should think its CEO could afford to dial back the controversial claims, if only out of professional courtesy.

Cynthia Murrell, October 13, 2013


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