Oracle wants no part of a court-ordered $272 million award levied against SAP AG for copyright infringement and will the roll the dice on a retrial instead. The $272 million verdict is a little more than a billion dollars less than what Oracle was originally owed until U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton cut the original $1.3 billion award in September of last year, calling it "grossly excessive."
German enterprise software maker SAP announced that its subsidiary, SAP America, has entered into a definitive agreement to scoop up SuccessFactors, a provider of cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solutions. Under terms of the agreement, SAP will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of SuccessFactors for $40 per share, valuing the deal at a staggering $3.4 billion.
The Associated Free Press didn't say whether or not Dr. Evil was one of the jurors participating in the SAP/Oracle lawsuit, only that the jury has ordered SAP to pay $1.3 BILLION.
SAP was found guilty of stealing customer support documents and software as part of a ploy to siphon customers away from Oracle. Naturally, Oracle has been crying foul over the ordeal, and it certainly didn't help that SAP AG admitted that a subsidiary stole the documents, further fessing up to owing $40 million, though disputing the billion dollar claim.
"For more than three years, SAP stole thousands of copies of Oracle software and then resold that software and related services to Oracle's own customers," Oracle co-president Safra Catz said after the verdict.
In the end, the jury sided with Oracle on the valuation of the stolen property. This obviously comes as a blow to SAP, which had set aside $160 million for anticipated damages and already paid $120 million of that sum to Oracle's lawyers, Yahoo News reports.
Leo Apotherker, who spent more than 20 years at SAP (most recently as the Chief Executive Officer), is stepping in as the new CEO and President of Hewlett Packard, the OEM announced.
"Leo is a strategic thinker with a passion for technology, wide-reaching global experience and proven operational discipline -- exactly what we're looking for in a CEO," said Robert Ryan, lead independent director of the Board. "After more than two decades in the industry, he has a strong track record of driving technological innovation, building customer relationships, and developing world-class teams."
During his tenure, Apotherker helped lead SAP to 18 consecutive quarters of double-digit software revenue growth between 2004 and 2009. HP will look to Apotherker to mimic that success as the company continues to expand globally.
SAP, a multinational software development and consulting corporation, said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sybase for an all cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Sybase common stock at $65 per share. The deal represents an enterprise value of about $5.8 billion.
"With this transaction, SAP will dramatically expand its addressable market by making available its market-leading solutions to hundreds of millions of mobile users, combining the world’s best business software with the world’s most powerful mobile infrastructure platform," said Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and member of the SAP Executive Board. "This is a game-changing transaction for SAP and Sybase customers, who will be better able to connect their employees with key functionality and information from anywhere and make it easier for companies to make faster, more informed business decisions in real time. With SAP’s customer-centric approach, we are resolute in our commitment to support Sybase customers to be best-run businesses."
SAP said the deal will allow it to accelerate the reach of its solutions across mobile platforms, while its own in-memory technology would boost the capabilities of Sybase's data platform. SAP also said it will continue to support each organization's product roadmap.
Perhaps Oracle is feeling a little spunky ever since it acquired Sun Microsystems after a lengthy approval process with the European Union. Or maybe somewhere along the line, rival SAP hit a nerve, Whatever the reason, Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison had plenty to say about SAP during a recent conference call, and not much of it was positive.
"They have lost their way," Ellsion said, noting how hard it is to make money selling to SMBs. "If they don't want to be No. 1, we sure do."
There might some truth to his statement, as SAP's revenues in 2009 fell 8 percent while earnings per share tumbled 13 percent. But what likely has Ellison going on the verbal offensive is SAP's recent statements that it plans to acquire more companies, a strategy it's been following for the past five years. Ellison has criticized this strategy before, and he's not the only one doing so now.
"Many investors believe that SAP's strategy left the company with very little in terms of new products to leverage its strong installed base and was not quick to enter the SMB and on-demand markets, said Yun Kim, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech.
Oracle has been the recipient of recent criticisms as well, most recently for being slow to launch its Fusion software. "I'd much rather be late than deliver a bad product," Ellison said.
SAP this week reported a 9 percent year-on-year drop in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2009, which led to the company's income dropping 12 percent from its record high one year ago.
"Q4 2008 was a record quarter, the best in the history of the business. That's the main reason for the decline," said CEO Léo Apotheker in a webcast news conference.
Software revenue was also down, dropping 15 percent, while software and software and software related services fell by 4 percent. But it wasn't all bad news for SAP. The company reported its support revenue rose 7 percent year-on-year.
Going forward, Apotherker said he expects SAP to return to top-line growth, though admitted "the market continues to be challenging and uncertainty among customers still exists."
Rather than raise its entire userbase's maintenance fees, SAP has decided to take a different approach and announced a new tiered pricing model on Thursday.
"The idea that customers can choose a support offering better tailored to their individual needs is a plus for enterprises in this economy and leading in the business software space," said Pierre Boucher, vice president, Systems and Operations, Peerless Clothing, Inc. "We find that SAP Enterprise Support is providing our business with benefits that demonstrate its long-term business value."
Both new and existing customers can now choose the level of global IT support they receive from SAP. SAP Standard Support includes updates, problem resolution, knowledge transfer, quality management, and more, while customers who opt for SAP Enterprise Support will receive the same features, plus additional focus on business continuity, business process improvement, and other additions.
SAP is getting a little help from Microsoft in taking on Oracle in the EPM (enterprise performance management) sector, and has already managed to wrangle a major customer from the competition.
CKE Restaurants, which owns recognizable brands like Carl's Jr. and Hardees, had been using Oracle's Hyperion software for the past one and a half decades to help plan out budgets, make forecasts, and consolidate financial data. That is, until SAP snagged the account. CKE Restaurants made the switch to SAP's BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation project this year.
Oracle purchased Hyperion in 2007 for a cool $3.3 billion, but according to Tom Lindblom, CTO of CKE Restaurants, it not only became "bigger and more comprehensive," but also too complex. With SAP's EPM software, CKE will "gain the ability to take much more current data and in essence morph the forecasting process into the budgeting process," Lindblom added.
While this is a major win for SAP, the company hopes it's just the beginning, and that's something Microsoft may be able to help with. SAP and Microsoft announced last month that the Redmond outfit would back BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation as "a preferred solution for companies running their business applications on the Microsoft platform."
SAP, the multinational software development and consulting firm headquartered in Germany, reported a bigger-than-expected drop in third quarter revenue in its earnings announcement today.
Somewhat offsetting the disappointing performance were lower tax rates and better profit margins, both of which led to a 12 percent rise in net income. But this came as little consolation to investors, as SAP also reported a 31 percent decline in software revenue. SAP adjusted its sales forecast for 2009 and now expects revenue to drop anywhere from 6 to 8 percent.
SAP also caught fire from Oracle last month after Oracle reported weaker-than-expected sales of new software licenses, which Oracle blamed on SAP's weakness as a reseller of its products.
Putting a positive spin on the sobering numbers, SAP chief executive Leo Apotheker pointed out gains in his company's volume business and multi-year agreements.
"Despite the continued tough spending environment, we are pleased to see further progress in the evolution of our volume business as a result of smaller deals," Apotheker said. "In addition, we are driving more multi-year agreements, where customers buy and consume software over many periods, which we believe is a positive transition for both SAP and our customers."