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SAP's acquisitions of database provider Sybase in 2010 and business-intelligence software vendor Business Objects back in 2007 are helping level the playing field, enabling SAP to become more competitive with Oracle.
SAP has targeted small-to-medium businesses, with several product lines tailored for SMB needs, while Oracle has provided fewer efforts focused at that segment. Otherwise, there are few differentiators in many overlapping product areas between the two in terms of price, system integration or functionality.
The Acquisitions Continue
Last month, SAP announced it was acquiring SuccessFactors, which provides cloud-based human capital management . Industry observers saw the move as an effort by SAP to shore up its position in cloud-based solutions, especially as Oracle moves more aggressively into the cloud.
Other SAP cloud apps include Business ByDesign for ERP, Sales OnDemand for CRM, Carbon Impact OnDemand for sustainability, and Travel OnDemand for expense reporting.
In October, Oracle announced it would acquire RightNow Technologies, a cloud-based customer -service software provider, best known for its CRM (customer relationship management) programs. Oracle is also providing cloud-based solutions for sales force automation, human resources, talent management, and social networking, in addition to databases and Java.
Oracle has said it will make RightNow a complete platform for customer service for B2C and B2B markets, with analytics, CRM, e-commerce, marketing, supply chain, and other functions.