For all of my readers that are in the United States enjoy the holiday and be thankful for all we have. No doubt there are some difficulties we all endure individually and collectively, but we still have much to be thankful for. For all of you that are not enjoying the days off…get back to work….but be thankful as well!
Yes that is $1.3 BILLION that the German software maker will have to pay to Oracle in damages for a scheme to steal customer support and software from Oracle so that SAP could lull those customers over to their solutions. Ouch. SAP’s after tax profit last year was $2billion…wow. This will have some serious repercussions in the software and business world. I would not be surprised if you will hear of more law suits against SAP – similar to the one filed and won by i2 Technologies a few years back.
These law suits are too common in the software world, however they have always been difficult to prove and even more difficult to assess damages – how can you really place a monetary figure on supposed lost sales or clients? And how can you really prove a line of code was stolen? Yet this finding marks a signal that the courts are becoming more savvy in presiding and passing judgment over these matters. The impact of the this announcement will be felt throughout the industry and business:
- SAP will be seriously hamstrung to go out and acquire other players in the space to bolster their business. The major dent in their cash as well as market value could make them an enticing acquisition target themselves – Microsoft anyone?
- Oracle will be bolstered by this and they might go out and look for new targets to acquire. Not that they were in need of cash, but getting a nice check for $1.3 billion can make shopping during the holiday season much easier! Could they go out and target a firm like JDA – small fish I realize. Or maybe one of the system integrators out of India…What about Infor?
- New lawsuits, couple this verdict plus SAP’s willingness to pay off i2 in that lawsuit and I am sure you have every vendor that did business with SAP calling up their legal departments to determine if they can get shot at the giant. SAP’s ecosystem is far and wide so I would not be surprised to hear of many more small and large lawsuits being filed.
Part of me also wonders if SAP knew this might happen, reason why I have been seeing what appears to be a major uptick in television ads from SAP. A preemptive marketing campaign to remind us all how wonderful they are and how many of the things we enjoy “rely” on SAP software.
I am sure that Larry is going to have a very happy Thanksgiving, I wonder if this means he will purchase a new yacht to race in the America’s Cup regatta?
I realize this is the craziest week in the United States when it comes to traveling, one of the reasons I am thankful I hardly have to go further than 45 minutes by car…even that can be stressful at times! Of course couple this with the new TSA regulations for security screening that some are criticizing violate our privacy and civil rights and you have a recipe for a “lovely” travel season, once again I am thankful I will not be participating in this carnival.
Of course what I find interesting is there is an uproar over security actions that are necessary to protect our safety, I realize there have been some cases that are reprehensible, embarrassing and unnecessary, but if we are really up in arms about this violation of civil liberties what about the new XBox Kinect. The Kinect is the answer from Microsoft to go after the Wii market, the gaming market where simple controllers are too pedestrian and instead the way you move your arms, legs, body, head and other body parts will be translated onto the gaming screen.
Looks cool, doesn’t it! And it appears to be the new hot gaming accessory coming to the market, look out Wii! What is more interesting/frightening is the fact that the cameras that are leveraged to see what you are doing and translate those actions into the video game…can also see who is in the room, what they are wearing and what they are watching. Ummm talk about big brother! I realize from a marketing point of view it is gold, I can run an ad on the television and actually track whether or not your watch…wow. I can use placement ads in your favorite show and see if your eyes go to that spot? Awesome. I can figure out if you live in Boston but are a Steeler fan? Great. I know whether or not you drink Coke or Pepsi? As I have stated before, there is a heated battle over the control of the television, it remains the center of our entertainment universe. The ability to bring “seeing” devices into that space would be a gold mine for marketers, but also touches a dangerous zone of privacy.
Do we really want to grant corporations and marketers such unfettered access into our homes via this game console? I realize that everything we do – surf the web, purchase goods and services, stores we walk into etc etc – is being tracked at some level and many times bundled and sold to entities interested in selling us products and services. However the visual and audio sanctity of our homes remains something that, until now, has been safe from this tracking. Seems to me that this too is under threat.
Is this good or bad? Or should we just accept that privacy is dead and move on!