SAP picks up the staff who wander off the Oracle acquisition trail

SAP A/NZ has recruited up to 40 former Oracle employees in the past 12 months with resumes continuing to arrive on a weekly basis, according to the company's local managing director Geraldine McBride.

Claiming staff have left in huge numbers from Siebel, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards, McBride said SAP has gained plenty of talent from Oracle's long list of acquisitions.

"The SAP ecosystem has been greatly strengthened; we receive an inordinate number of resumes so we are picking up the inside truth," she said.

"When you acquire, one plus one never really equals two, and I think staff and customers have felt a bit lost."

It is in this environment that migrations to the SAP platform have "grown exponentially", McBride said, adding that the company has a "huge pipeline" of deals coming through under the Safe Passage program.

The program was introduced to provide a migration path for customers wishing to make the move to SAP.

Globally, there are 40 customers signed up to Safe Passage but more are set to be announced in coming months.

McBride has promised to provide details of local migrations at the end of January 2006.

During a visit to Australia last week, SAP president and executive board member, Leo Apotheker, said Oracle is wasting billions of dollars to grow simply because the company has no organic growth strategy.

"Buying the competition is wasted money. What do they have? They own all this old code. All these companies had technology at the end of their lifecycle and they needed significant investment to build new product that they couldn't afford," Apotheker said.

"We are the reason why Oracle made these acquisitions, it was the only chance they had to stay in the market and compete.

"Basically, buying market share isn't a strategy."

Apotheker said SAP doesn't buy customers.

"Customers have their own opinion and cannot be acquired," he said.

Claiming SAP is proof that the market can grow organically, Apotheker said the company has had double-digit growth for the past seven quarters.

In Australia and New Zealand, SAP grew 25 percent in Q3 signing up 300 new customers. An estimated 12 percent of that revenue came from the SME sector.

Oracle was contacted but could not reply by deadline.

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