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September 27, 2005

Latest in Oracle's dirty tricks campaign

I was speaking with some folks in our Washington D.C. office and they gave me scoop on the latest installment of Oracle's Dirty Tricks Tour 2005, an effort by Larry and Company to derail SAP's dominance in Federal government and Department of Defense business. This rather pathetic effort is based on the fact that SAP is a German headquartered company (who knew, if you walked through our Palo Alto campus you might think we were an Indian or Chinese company) and the second well worn observation that German Chancellor Shroeder opposed the Coalition's war in Iraq. Their conclusion is that a German company is therefore no longer fit to provide software to the DoD, go figure.

Now it's one thing to switch from Bordeaux to some domestic wine, but another thing altogether to stop using the software that the military runs their operations on (and I shouldn't have to remind anyone that U.S. military logistics is hands down the best in the world, in no small part because of the technology they have deployed). More to the point, SAP is a global company with almost 6,000 employees right here in the U.S.A., and many of those SAP employees don't have time to consider German politics because they are too damn busy working hard every day building and delivering software applications for the U.S. military, Homeland Security, DLA, and a myriad of other agencies and acronyms.

More troubling about these insinuations is that they obscure the fact that Oracle itself has been selling software to Syria and Iran, 2/3 of the Axis of Evil, through third parties. Oracle has a strong presence in the Middle East through a partnership with Global Technology Services.  Oracle maintains a listed sales contact for Syria, where it closed a major deal with Syria Telecom in 2004. In Iran, Oracle serves the market through a local partner, Basa; it is estimated that Oracle has approximately 5 Iranian customers, with the most publicized implementation being at Esfahan Zobe Ahan, a steel production company. Oracle is a visible brand presence in Iranian newspapers. So if anyone wants to have hearings in Congress to evaluate the patriotic inclinations of software vendors, bring it on.

Link: The Center for Security Policy.

At the very least, the Marines could use help from the Air Force if it comes to blows with Iran. That may only be possible, however, if someone decides our airmen - unlike their Army and Navy counterparts -- should be supported by software that doesn't give Germany a veto.

Posted by dymaxion at September 27, 2005 01:01 AM


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