IBM And SAP Say You Shouldn't Believe Larry Ellison's Latest Claims About Oracle's New Products


Larry Ellison IBM versus Oracle Big Memory Machine

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claiming IBM is slower and more expensive than Oracle's Big Memory Machine

On Sunday, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison launched several new products to kick off Oracle's massive conference going on this week in San Francisco. And on Monday his two biggest competitors are already bristling.


Compared to his typical spiel, Ellison kept the competitor bashing to a minimum during his keynote speech, with one major exception. He showed a slide that said that the new Oracle server is twice as fast and three times cheaper than IBM's server.

The problem is that Oracle has already been busted three times for advertising campaigns claiming that Oracle's servers are faster, better, or cheaper than IBM's.

IBM has complained about these ads to the advertising industry's self-regulation body, the National Advertising Division, and NAB has consistently sided with IBM and told Oracle to change the ads.

When IBM asked NAB to look into the truth of a fourth campaign, NAB threw up its hands and asked The Federal Trade Commission to investigate Oracle's ads for "possible law enforcement action," it said last month.


To be fair, the latest comparison wasn't technically an ad. It was a slide in Ellison's keynote presentation.

And also to be fair, IBM is a master at complaining to various regulatory agencies to thwart its competitors. That's how it stopped Amazon from winning a game-changing cloud deal with the CIA worth $600 million. Oracle told us in August that it stands by its ads.

On Monday, IBM sent us this response to Ellison's slide:

"Much like its comparative ads, Oracle's presentation failed to provide details on the cost-comparison, which must be analyzed to determine the validity of Oracle's assertion. Oracle has a history of making grandiose claims that are unsubstantiated, but knowing what we have seen in prior comparisons, it would be important to look at exactly what is included in the cost: How much storage and what type was included, what type of maintenance and support was added in, were the very expensive Oracle software licenses added in?"

Meanwhile, Oracle's oldest, biggest rival, SAP, also went on the offensive. One of the products Oracle announced last night was a pretty amazing "in-memory" feature for its latest database, Oracle 12c. The feature instantly makes the database work at least 100 times faster, Ellison says.


The feature offers an alternative for Oracle customers considering ditching Oracle for SAP's HANA in-memory database.

No sooner had Ellison left the stage, than SAP sent us this response to his keynote about the new competitor to HANA, noting that SAP founder and chairman Hasso Plattner launched HANA about two years ago:

"It's great to hear Larry singing from Hasso Plattner's playbook, but Oracle is still missing the mark. They are still trying to make queries run faster but missed the chance to simplify the data management at the same time. SAP HANA has been delivering real-time performance to our customers in real world environments for years."

All of this said, Oracle is putting together a compelling set of products for companies that use the Oracle database, and that's a lot of companies. Oracle has owned about half the database market share, by revenue, for years.