How to Understand Thought Leadership Transition from SAP and Oracle to AWS and Google Cloud

Last Updated on May 4, 2021 by

Executive Summary

  • AWS and GCP have taken over thought leadership from SAP and Oracle.
  • What this transition means for the cloud.

Video Introduction: How to Understand Thought Leadership Transition from SAP and Oracle to AWS and Google Cloud

Text Introduction (Skip if You Watched the Video)

For a time, Oracle provided a distinctly differentiated product to the market in its Oracle database. Also, for a time, SAP provided a distinctly differentiated ERP system. These two developments gave those companies great power. However, at this point, those products are not anywhere as distinct as when they were first introduced. Also, SAP and Oracle have grown into difficult vendors to manage with enormous senses of entitlement over the IT budget and with both vendors pushing the envelope as to what is legal to achieve their all-consuming revenue objectives. Furthermore, if you implement SAP and Oracle’s products as they and their consulting partners stipulate, the result is the highest TCO in the industry.

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Lack of Financial Bias Notice: We have no financial ties to SAP or any other entity mentioned in this article.

  • This is published by a research entity.
  • Second, no one paid for this article to be written, and it is not pretending to inform you while being rigged to sell you software or consulting services. Unlike nearly every other article you will find from Google on this topic, it has had no input from any company's marketing or sales department. 

A Menu of Options

AWS and Google Cloud offer a menu of options; the prices are communicated to customers in real time for various services configuration. The customer chooses, and AWS and Google Cloud are happy to make money from any of them. We spin up AWS and Google Cloud services without ever talking to an AWS and Google Cloud sales rep, and you know what?

We don’t miss them. If we never interact with an Oracle or SAP sales rep again, that would be a good thing.

The following quote from Denis Myagkov further illuminates this.

“I think that SAP’s and Oracle’s myth department is propelling they database solutions without any context. It’s pretty weird to compare one database with another and not mention of its application. Any database is only a way to store some data somewhere and somehow and here we have the huge gap – what system will be consumer of they databases?

AWS and Google act like good merchants, they simply propose an assortment of different databases for developers. Maybe I’m wrong, but I prefer to choose tools for the task, but not vice versa.”

And this is the issue. When we debate SAP, but more Oracle DB resources, what we get back is how deep the Oracle database is in this or that. Also, the World Data Center uses it for Weather or some other upper tier case studies (with all of the upper tier case studies open source databases ignored). However, the database is part of the IaaS. The IaaS enables the database to do things, or it sets the boundaries for what is possible (for example, horizontal scalability, which is multi-location and based upon the IaaS).

Should anyone be surprised?

Because the database is what SAP and Oracle have to sell, as they have not figured out IaaS beyond having offerings that function more as propaganda (that makes Wall Street think there is something there, make it seem like they are hip and cool, etc..) That leads the industry in licenses purchased for shelfware.

Loving Bare Metal

Oracle loves promoting bare metal. Unsurprisingly, bare metal is what Oracle is offering. They cannot do the sophisticated things with multitenancy, etc., that AWS or Google Cloud can do. This is equally true of SAP, which is designed to work on dedicated rather than virtualized servers for their internally developed products. Bare metal is hosting; it is not a cloud. If hosting were the answer, IBM and CSC would be rising instead of being companies that barely anyone talks about concerning the cloud.

Let us say that a salesperson wants to sell you an engine out of context with the value it provided to you. They could discuss its technical specifications. For example, it could be a potent engine (a selling point the salesperson chooses to emphasize). It may produce 1000 horsepower. It may have a fantastic compression ratio, and so on. However, what about how it fits within the car and the daily use of that car? The salesperson can go into a lengthy monologue discussing very narrow characteristics of the engine. Pretty soon, if you listen to that salesperson, you will put that engine in your economy car. After all, it’s a great engine! Sports car advertisements are similar in that they sell a car dream, out on an open country road that provides a very different experience in traffic, where you might prefer more legroom and an automatic. The vehicle may go 200 mph, but by the way, the speed limit is 65 mph (45 to 55 mph with traffic). That is the danger in listening to a salesperson who has something to sell and only one particular thing to sell.

Hasso Plattner’s Context Free Selling

Hasso Plattner engaged in this type of context free selling when SAP introduced its HANA database. First, nearly everything he said about HANA was not true, as we covered in the article When Articles Exaggerate SAP S/4HANA Benefits. However, let’s say for a moment; it was all true. Even if true, it would not improve the user’s condition, as Hasso and SAP have proposed. Also, it certainly would not be worth the price, maintenance overhead, and indirect access implications.

SAP and Oracle both like to pretend the car/road or the IaaS is immaterial to the discussion. The primary focus should be what they have to offer, which are applications and databases. And only commercial databases and applications, of course, no open source databases or applications, are considered.

The Move Away from Proprietary Hardware

A critical component of AWS and Google Cloud is the ability to move away from proprietary hardware. AWS and Google Cloud have amazing economies of scale in hardware and data center technology and management. How could a company put together a hardware setup that is competitive on price or flexibility with AWS/Google Cloud? Those data centers have untold economies of scale. It’s like mass production versus a job shop for an IT department. If we look at a big company, say Chevron, they are still not going to have the scale or competence of AWS/GCP. Does anyone look to Chevron for technology? Of course not.

Hiding the Real TCO

SAP and Oracle want this TCO hidden, and IT analysts and SAP and Oracle consulting partners are only too happy to help SAP and Oracle keep this information quiet. SAP and Oracle want pricing secret, so pricing can never be determined without a lengthy interaction with their sales representatives. AWS and Google Cloud are offer price transparency because they aren’t software vendors but service providers.