March 15 German software maker SAP
says it intends to become a major provider of database
software in a move that would heat up its long-running rivalry
with Oracle Corp, the technology giant led by Silicon
Valley billionaire Larry Ellison.
SAP said it will disclose its plans at an April 10 press
conference in downtown San Francisco, not far from Oracle's
headquarters in Redwood City, California.
The German company is the world's biggest maker of business
management software, which includes programs that manage tasks
such as accounting, manufacturing and payroll. While Oracle is
the No. 2 player in that market, it sells more software, thanks
to its leadership in the multibillion-dollar market for
"SAP will unveil its unified data management portfolio and
demonstrate how we will become a leading database vendor," the
company said in a press advisory.
SAP acquired Sybase, the world's No. 4 maker of database
software, in July 2010.
Last year the company launched a specialized database dubbed
Hana that pulled in 160 million euros ($208 million) in sales in
its first two quarters on the market, ahead of SAP's target of
100 million euros.
So far SAP has sold the technology to handle a series of
niche applications, helping companies analyze large quantities
of data. But the company has said it plans to make it available
as a database for business management applications by the end of
Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined comment on the
SAP and Oracle are entrenched in a bitter legal dispute over
allegations that a unit of SAP illegally downloaded millions of
A second trial is scheduled to begin in June after a judge
threw out a jury's decision that SAP should pay Oracle $1.3