WETTEMANN: A key part of Nucleus Research is to do
investigative discussions. We find that having a conversation
rather than asking them to answer closed questions allows
us to get a lot more qualitative insight on what they did and
what they would do differently. We spoke with 56 IT professionals at midsize companies— 27 Oracle customers and 29
PROFIT: What were the key findings?
WETTEMANN: There were a couple of key things that
we found where the results were dramatically different for
the two sets of customers. For example, we found that 93
percent of Oracle customers reported a positive ROI [return
on investment], while only 41 percent of SAP customers did.
The SAP customers found that the scale of ongoing costs and
maintenance tended to outweigh the value from the application. To get positive ROI, they would have to either put more
work into the application or get more people to use it.
In terms of deployment time, 69 percent of SAP implementations were completed on time, while 78 percent of
Oracle [implementations] were—the difference between the
numbers is not huge. The more-significant area was budget.
63 percent of the Oracle deployments were on budget,
versus 45 percent of the SAP deployments. This is critical in
this space, where going over budget can have a significant
In fact, a number of Oracle customers were actually under-budget. The ones that did go over budget said that they went
only ‘slightly over budget.’ Looking at SAP customers, the
budget overages ranged from 20 to 100 percent, which sug-
gests two things: Either the SAP customers didn’t realistically
scope out their projects, or they were sold a solution that
wasn’t a good fit for them.
PROFIT: Did anything else intriguing come up?
WETTEMANN: We found the recommendation percentages
interesting: 66 percent of the SAP respondents would recommend deploying SAP to their peers, while an impressive 89
percent of the Oracle respondents would recommend deploying Oracle products to their peers. This is particularly relevant in this market, which relies heavily on word of mouth
and peer recommendations. The research suggests that Oracle
has an advantage here over SAP.
PROFIT: Where do you think this leaves the two companies
WETTEMANN: It appears that Oracle is ahead of SAP in
terms of providing a quality experience and in setting implementation expectations appropriately. Oracle’s Accelerate
program should drive the numbers even higher, as they can
provide guidance and support so that customers can get that
positive ROI. The real challenge for SAP is to show that it is
close enough to the midsize customer to help, but it requires
a dramatically different business model than the one that SAP
is very successful with: the large enterprise model. <>
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