SAP Financial Analytics Module Unveiled By Oracle

Court battles over, Oracle still sees value in releasing a BI analytics application for SAP databases

Oracle and SAP may have fought each other bitterly in court during 2010’s final months, but that has not stopped Oracle from introducing Oracle Financial Analytics for SAP.

The module merges with the Oracle BI (Business Intelligence) Applications family, a platform that allows executives and other financially-minded employees to “improve cash flow and profitability by extending complete financial analysis to SAP systems” and “dramatically reducing the complexity and costs of integrating information from SAP”.

Improving Business Visibility

The software leverages Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition to directly incorporate data from SAP’s platform.

“Organisations that rely on SAP Financial Accounting can now turn to Oracle Financial Analytics for SAP to further improve business visibility and align decision making,” Paul Rodwick, vice president of product management, Oracle Business Intelligence, wrote in a statement. “For years, SAP customers have used Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to deliver complete, relevant insight across their organisations.”

Oracle already offers a number of pre-built analytic applications, he added, making it “natural to extend that support to SAP with Oracle Financial Analytics for SAP.”

Oracle and SAP compete fiercely in the enterprise IT arena, a battle that reached new heights late in 2010 with a tooth-and-nail court battle over intellectual property infringement. In a lawsuit originally filed in 2007, Oracle claimed that SAP, via its now-shuttered TomorrowNow division, had illegally downloaded reams of supporting documentation and more than 8 million instances of customer-support software.

SAP apologised for TomorrowNow’s conduct, and the Oakland, Calif., federal district court delivered a $1.3 billion judgment to Oracle, which then asked for another $211 million extra in interest. SAP had already paid $120 million in court costs to Oracle.

SAP had seen its revenue rise in the second half of 2010, as businesses begin to spend more heavily on IT in the wake of a massive global recession. However, competitors such as Microsoft and Oracle are also using the brightening economy to push their own products—in turn, pressuring SAP to sign customers and offer new software and services to keep them.

“The experience we have gained with our more than 100,000 customers over many years tells us they want choice, openness and innovation from their technology partners,” Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO of SAP, wrote in an Oct. 27 statement following a quarterly earnings announcement. “The opposite seems to be happening as more technology companies want to lock in their customers to a single vendor on one proprietary technology stack.”