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Chủ Nhật, 31 tháng 8, 2014

SAP, a devices company? Maybe, maybe not - PCWorld

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While SAP has made a big push into mobile software and device management with the acquisition of Sybase and a series of apps, it hasn’t made overt moves into the devices market. But this could change down the road, judging from a recently published patent application submitted by SAP.


The application, which was published late last month, describes a “foldable information worker mobile device” which can be reconfigured to work as a tablet, laptop, phone, e-reader and other device types as an employee moves through a series of tasks.


Beyond the obvious advantage of combining multiple devices into one unit, it could improve software compatibility, lower data synchronization requirements and cut users’ “cognitive burden,” according to the application.


An SAP spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the application, which was first flagged by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.


It’s not difficult to imagine how such a device would fit into SAP’s mobile strategy, a key piece of which is Fiori, a large and growing set of lightweight mobile applications that tap data and processes from its flagship Business Suite software.


SAP has also been keen to change the public’s perception of it as a vendor of large, complex back-end software packages. Earlier this year, it unveiled a new marketing tag line, “Run Simple,” and the first in a series of simplified versions of Business Suite modules.


However, while SAP has close relationships with hardware companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, particularly with respect to systems that run its Hana in-memory database platform, it has shied away from selling hardware itself, whether through direct or contract manufacturing.


Therefore, SAP watchers would be wise to temper their expectations, according to one observer.


“I’d say that it’s one of those patents you file when you see that the future of work will evolve in a certain way and you can use it as part of your patent portfolio,” said analyst Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research. “If we see them build out a hardware ecosystem for their software, they could potentially have a Foxconn build these for themselves. However, it’s a bit far-fetched. It’s a good defensive patent though.”




Chris Kanaracus , IDG News Service


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service.

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Oracle v. SAP: Appeals court rebuffs Oracle bid to restore record verdict - Milpitas Post

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Oracle's bid to wrest another $1 billion in damages from software rival SAP took a hit Friday in a federal appeals court.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the most part rejected Oracle's legal arguments for restoring a $1.3 billion jury verdict arising from a 2010 trial against SAP, believed to be the largest such damages award in a copyright infringement case. Under the appeals court ruling, Oracle can roll the dice with another trial, but would still not be entitled to seek such a hefty penalty against the German software giant.


The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California.

The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)



SAP admitted before trial four years ago that a now-defunct subsidiary had violated Oracle's copyright protections, leaving only what SAP should pay in damages for the jury to resolve. After the trial, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton determined that the $1.3 billion judgment was excessive, primarily because she found much of it was based on what SAP would have had to pay Oracle to license the software.


This created a sticky legal question over whether Oracle should be entitled to "hypothetical" damages for a license that, as it was conceded, Oracle would never grant to its chief rival.


Oracle and SAP then agreed that SAP would pay Oracle $320 million in damages (plus $120 million in legal costs) to avoid a retrial. That settlement allowed Oracle to turn to the appeals courts to argue that the original billion-dollar verdict was legally justified.


In Friday's ruling, the 9th Circuit supported Oracle's argument that in theory it could recover hypothetical damages because the law does not require a company to prove it would have licensed its product to a competitor. But the ruling, written by Judge William Fletcher, agreed with Hamilton that Oracle fell far short of establishing the license would be worth so much money, saying its licensing damages were based on "undue speculation."


The only consolation for Oracle is that the 9th Circuit found the amount it should receive had been calculated too low by the trial judge. As a result, Oracle should recover about $356 million, unless it seeks another trial in the case.


Oracle lawyers said the outcome still allows the company to recover a large amount for SAP's "brazen conduct."


"This sends a strong message to those who would prefer to cheat than compete fairly and legally," said Dorian Daley, Oracle's general counsel.


In the case closely watched in Silicon Valley, SAP acknowledged that employees of its TomorrowNow subsidiary illegally downloaded thousands of copies of Oracle software and used them for TomorrowNow customers without paying for a license. Those accusations led SAP to plead guilty to federal criminal copyright infringement charges in 2011.


The trial included testimony by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who told the jury that the software theft was worth $4 billion, and SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott, who valued the technology at about $40 million.


Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz.







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Appeals court denies Oracle request to restore $1.3B judgment against SAP - Computerworld

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Oracle has failed to persuade a federal appeals court to restore $1.3 billion judgment in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against SAP, but will have the options of taking a lesser amount of money or pursuing a new trial.


The jury initially awarded the $1.3 billion to Oracle in 2010, but the judgment was subsequently vacated by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who had overseen the case. Hamilton found the jury overreached and said Oracle could accept a lower award of $272 million or seek a new trial.


Oracle at first opted for a new trial, but then reached a settlement wherein SAP would pay out $306 million, with Oracle reserving the right to appeal Hamilton's ruling overturning the $1.3 billion judgment.


While the jury engaged in "undue speculation" when reaching the $1.3 billion verdict, Hamilton erred in setting the damages at only $272 million, justices at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded in their ruling, which was released Friday. Oracle is now entitled to either $356.7 million in damages or a new trial, according to the ruling.


The company sued SAP in 2007, alleging that a now-closed subsidiary, TomorrowNow, had made illegal downloads of Oracle's software while providing software support services to Oracle customers. SAP ultimately accepted liability for wrongdoing on the part of TomorrowNow, resulting in a trial on damages that produced the initial $1.3 billion judgment.


"We are very pleased with the court's action today," SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said Friday. "We feel it very much supports our position."


Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to comment on the court's decision.


The appeals court also upheld the lower court's ruling that if a new trial is held, Oracle cannot present arguments related to damages for hypothetical license fees. Oracle had argued SAP should pay the fair market value of what it would have cost to license the illegally downloaded software, as well as to develop it.


TomorrowNow offered Oracle customers support at half the cost of vendor maintenance. It catered to customers with stable systems and little desire or need for the continuous software version upgrades provided by vendor support.


Oracle is also suing Rimini Street, a company led by TomorrowNow co-founder Seth Ravin, claiming it duplicated TomorrowNow's "corrupt business model."


While that case has yet to go to trial, Rimini has suffered a number of adverse pre-trial rulings, with a judge twice finding it had violated Oracle's copyrights.


Industry observers expect the final outcome of the Rimini Street case to lay concrete ground rules for how third-party software support can be conducted legally.


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


This story, "Appeals court denies Oracle request to restore $1.3B judgment against SAP" was originally published by IDG News Service .







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SAP head wants to simplify company's product line, message - USA TODAY

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PALM BEACH, Fla. — When Bill McDermott became SAP's sole CEO in May, it helped clarify who was ultimately in charge of the world's third-largest software company.


Now, McDermott intends to make clear the company's enterprise product line and marketing message.


"Run simple. That's it," says McDermott, who is briefly luxuriating in south Florida where he lives part of the year, after a board meeting in late August. A window behind him frames the Atlantic Ocean and palm trees rippling in the breeze. (McDermott spent most of the summer in Germany, where SAP is based, at his other home in Heidelberg.)


The 53-year-old, who has been with SAP for 12 years, personifies a less-is-more philosophy. In a 90-minute interview, his first extensive sit-down in the U.S. since becoming SAP's majordomo, McDermott told USA TODAY the company is transforming itself in an era of cloud computing, mobile devices and the ubiquitous Internet of Things.


His message is simple: Make it easier for corporate customers like Under Armour, ConAgra Foods and the NBA to simplify their technical operations and improve efficiency. Indeed, "Run simple" is the tag line of a major marketing push that is in the midst of a "soft launch" with a TV/digital/print campaign set for early 2015.


"We want to make the S in SAP stand for 'simple,'" says SAP Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Becher. "We haven't gotten there yet."


SAP has rightly earned its reputation — not to mention billions of dollars in revenue and market value — as a trusted purveyor of business software. Yet it finds itself at a crossroads, competing against upstart software-as-service companies like Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Workday.


The cornerstone, called SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, is a managed-services version of its popular enterprise app suite on HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance), a database-management system. It is capable of quickly churning through massive amounts of information. SAP also offers public cloud apps for key lines of business such as human resources, sales, marketing and procurement, an alternative to software-as-service vendors such as NetSuite, Salesforce.com and Workday.


The most intractable challenge for a CEO today is complexity, McDermott says, waving a sheet of statistics to highlight his point. An Economist piece in 2010 said 90% of executives think business is becoming more complex; 40% of executives polled by McKinsey worry their organizations can't keep pace.


"When Leonardo Da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, he didn't mean doing simple things," McDermott said in a May 21 note to SAP employees after his promotion. "I think he meant doing complicated things simply."


McDermott says he's counting on the leadership change to accelerate decision-making at the Germany-based software maker and fuel revenue growth in the face of withering competition.


Tough sledding for legacy software


The changes come amid some tough sledding for SAP, whose stock price has dipped this year on slower revenue growth. The company is also in the process of slicing 3% of its 67,000-person workforce.



SAP CEO Bill McDermott(Photo: SAP)



"Anything they can do to simplify their product and organization is fine. But have SAP's changes come too late?" says Fred Laluyaux, a former SAP executive who is currently CEO at Anaplan, a cloud start-up that competes with SAP. He oversaw financial products at SAP from 2008 to 2012.


"What they're dealing with is a lack of patience from CIOs dealing with expensive, complex software," Laluyaux says. "Many customers are bailing on barbaric, legacy software and moving to cloud and mobile solutions."


SAP is attempting to navigate the difficult transition from designing financial, manufacturing and human-resource software for businesses' data centers to delivering applications online. Revenue this year is expected to increase 4% — the same as last year — to $24 billion, according to financial analysts. Under McDermott and former co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP's growth surpassed 10% from 2010-13.


McDermott and Snabe oversaw a four-year winning streak of revenue and profits, and a bump in SAP's stock.


It's the constant management changes that have investors worried. McDermott's promotion in May coincided with Snabe's appointment to SAP's supervisory board and the abrupt resignation of Vishal Sikka, who headed SAP's tech efforts in Silicon Valley.


"Investors will become increasingly worried if other changes occur in the near future," Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Laurent Daure said in a note to clients.


Then there are things beyond SAP's — or anyone else's — control.


Among the company's challenges are political tensions in Eastern Europe, and the escalating sanctions Russia faces from the U.S. and European Union.


Although recent EU sanctions on Russia could lead to longer sales cycles, McDermott has told shareholders SAP is "confident" any impact could be counterbalanced by global sales.


Oracle, meanwhile, is reviving efforts in a federal appeals court to win more than $1.3 billion in damages from SAP over a 7-year-old copyright-infringement suit.


McDermott leans forward to make his point. "I've been CEO for five years," says the Flushing, N.Y., native who got his start owning a deli as a teenager, and is the only American CEO in SAP's 42-year history. "I make sure to walk the walk and talk the talk."


An incongruous goal?


But is the new SAP at odds with what made it a multibillion-dollar company?


McDermott's goal — first broached at SAP's annual Sapphire Conference in Orlando, Fla., in June — is an audacious, some might argue contrarian, promise from a company known for its complicated enterprise applications.


The irony isn't lost on McDermott, who acknowledged SAP's technology has been "too complex."


SAP's cloud technology can be simplified in two ways, according to McDermott. First, you won't have to deal with hardware and systems-management issues. Second, you gain performance and simplification advantages. SAP itself runs on this cloud, and it collapsed its data footprint from 11 terabytes to 2 terabytes.


"Think of Hana as the great simplifier," he says.


The questions remain: Do customers want this type of cloud, amid promises of simplifications and performance gains?


Yes, says Bernd Leukert, head of products and innovation at SAP, who is sitting on a sun-splashed patio at SAP's Silicon Valley campus in Palo Alto, Calif., last Thursday night. He argues simpler, more-efficient products allow corporations to consolidate tech operations, which lead to cost savings and investments in innovation.


Two of SAP's largest customers have made the technological transition to streamline operations and get more creative.


"Our partnership with SAP powers our stats site — they have been an enabler for us," says Michael Gliedman, chief information officer of the NBA, one of several major professional sports leagues that assiduously use Hana to slice and dice data. A program developed by SAP, SportVU, records every movement and action of a basketball player during a game.


ConAgra Foods, an SAP customer for 15 years, has leveraged Hana to simplify its financial closing and forecasting. Managers at the multibillion-dollar conglomerate will soon be able to model business decisions in forecasts for things like advertising dollars and material costs at a detailed level to maximize profit margin.


"The technology was the easy part," says Mindy Simon, vice president of information technology at ConAgra. "The hard part was opening your imagination."


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Oracle loses bid to restore $1.3 billion SAP verdict, could get new trial - Reuters

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Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:43pm EDT



The company logo is shown at the headquarters of Oracle Corporation in Redwood City, California in this February 2, 2010 file photograph. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

The company logo is shown at the headquarters of Oracle Corporation in Redwood City, California in this February 2, 2010 file photograph.


Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files





(Reuters) - Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) failed to revive a $1.3 billion jury verdict in its long-running copyright dispute with German software company SAP SE (SAPG.DE) as a U.S. appeals court said Oracle must choose to accept a lower amount or face a new trial.



In a ruling on Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said jurors used "an undue amount of speculation" in awarding $1.3 billion in damages in 2010.



But the court found U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, had erred in concluding that Oracle deserved only $272 million of damages, a sum Oracle rejected.



Writing for a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, Judge William Fletcher directed Hamilton to offer Oracle a choice of $356.7 million of damages or a second trial.



In a statement, Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said the company is "thrilled about this landmark recovery." Asked whether Oracle will accept the $356.7 million or proceed to another trial, a company spokeswoman declined to comment.



SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the ruling is favorable and "shows the strength of our position."



The case involved SAP's TomorrowNow unit, which the German company had bought to provide software support to Oracle customers at lower rates than what Oracle charged, hoping to persuade them to become SAP customers.



Oracle sued SAP in 2007 after noticing thousands of suspicious downloads of its software.



SAP later conceded that its employees were illegally downloading Oracle files, but it couldn't agree with Oracle on damages. The 2010 trial between the two enterprise software competitors was widely watched at the time, as top Oracle executives Larry Ellison and Safra Catz testified.



Subsequently, SAP agreed to pay Oracle $306 million, but that agreement allowed Oracle to seek to restore the jury verdict, or win a retrial based on its own damages theories.



During the 2010 trial, Oracle had said internal SAP documents showed the German software company expected over $1 billion in revenue from TomorrowNow. However, the 9th Circuit rejected that reasoning given that SAP had paid much less to buy TomorrowNow.



"If SAP truly anticipated that TomorrowNow would produce a $1.3 billion benefit to SAP, as Oracle contends, a $10 million acquisition price is strikingly low," Fletcher wrote.



In finding the $272 million damages award "below the maximum amount sustainable by the proof," Fletcher said Hamilton erred in finding that Oracle had lost just $36 million of profit, when the proper figure should have been $120.7 million.



The case is Oracle Corp et al v. SAP AG et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-16944.



(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Dan Levine in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)










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SAP, a devices company? Maybe, maybe not - PCWorld

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PCWorld News


While SAP has made a big push into mobile software and device management with the acquisition of Sybase and a series of apps, it hasn’t made overt moves into the devices market. But this could change down the road, judging from a recently published patent application submitted by SAP.


The application, which was published late last month, describes a “foldable information worker mobile device” which can be reconfigured to work as a tablet, laptop, phone, e-reader and other device types as an employee moves through a series of tasks.


Beyond the obvious advantage of combining multiple devices into one unit, it could improve software compatibility, lower data synchronization requirements and cut users’ “cognitive burden,” according to the application.


An SAP spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the application, which was first flagged by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.


It’s not difficult to imagine how such a device would fit into SAP’s mobile strategy, a key piece of which is Fiori, a large and growing set of lightweight mobile applications that tap data and processes from its flagship Business Suite software.


SAP has also been keen to change the public’s perception of it as a vendor of large, complex back-end software packages. Earlier this year, it unveiled a new marketing tag line, “Run Simple,” and the first in a series of simplified versions of Business Suite modules.


However, while SAP has close relationships with hardware companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, particularly with respect to systems that run its Hana in-memory database platform, it has shied away from selling hardware itself, whether through direct or contract manufacturing.


Therefore, SAP watchers would be wise to temper their expectations, according to one observer.


“I’d say that it’s one of those patents you file when you see that the future of work will evolve in a certain way and you can use it as part of your patent portfolio,” said analyst Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research. “If we see them build out a hardware ecosystem for their software, they could potentially have a Foxconn build these for themselves. However, it’s a bit far-fetched. It’s a good defensive patent though.”




Chris Kanaracus , IDG News Service


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service.

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Oracle to Face New SAP Trial if it Rejects New Damages Award - Fox Business

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A federal appeals court on Friday said Oracle Corp must face a second trial with SAP in a case where the European software company admitted massive copyright infringement, unless Oracle is willing to accept $356.7 million of damages.


The case involved accusations that SAP's TomorrowNow unit wrongfully downloaded millions of Oracle files.


A federal jury had in 2010 awarded Oracle $1.3 billion of damages, but the trial judge said Oracle had proven actual damages of only $272 million. Oracle refused to accept that sum, leading to its appeal on damages.


In Friday's decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the trial judge incorrectly calculated the damages that Oracle had proven, and must offer it a choice between accepting $356.7 million of damages or going to trial a second time.







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Appeals court denies Oracle request to restore $1.3 billion judgment against SAP - InfoWorld

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Oracle has failed to persuade a federal appeals court to restore $1.3 billion judgment in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against SAP, but will have the options of taking a lesser amount of money or pursuing a new trial.


The jury initially awarded the $1.3 billion to Oracle in 2010, but the judgment was subsequently vacated by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who had overseen the case. Hamilton found the jury overreached and said Oracle could accept a lower award of $272 million or seek a new trial.


[ InfoWorld dishes on must-have iPad office apps, essential Android productivity apps, and road warrior standbys. Start downloading! | Get the latest insight on the tech news that matters from InfoWorld's Tech Watch blog. ]


Oracle at first opted for a new trial, but then reached a settlement wherein SAP would pay out $306 million, with Oracle reserving the right to appeal Hamilton's ruling overturning the $1.3 billion judgment.


While the jury engaged in "undue speculation" when reaching the $1.3 billion verdict, Hamilton erred in setting the damages at only $272 million, justices at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded in their ruling, which was released Friday. Oracle is now entitled to either $356.7 million in damages or a new trial, according to the ruling.


The company sued SAP in 2007, alleging that a now-closed subsidiary, TomorrowNow, had made illegal downloads of Oracle's software while providing software support services to Oracle customers. SAP ultimately accepted liability for wrongdoing on the part of TomorrowNow, resulting in a trial on damages that produced the initial $1.3 billion judgment.


"We are very pleased with the court's action today," SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said Friday. "We feel it very much supports our position."


Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to comment on the court's decision.


The appeals court also upheld the lower court's ruling that if a new trial is held, Oracle cannot present arguments related to damages for hypothetical license fees. Oracle had argued SAP should pay the fair market value of what it would have cost to license the illegally downloaded software, as well as to develop it.


TomorrowNow offered Oracle customers support at half the cost of vendor maintenance. It catered to customers with stable systems and little desire or need for the continuous software version upgrades provided by vendor support.


Oracle is also suing Rimini Street, a company led by TomorrowNow co-founder Seth Ravin, claiming it duplicated TomorrowNow's "corrupt business model."


While that case has yet to go to trial, Rimini has suffered a number of adverse pre-trial rulings, with a judge twice finding it had violated Oracle's copyrights.


Industry observers expect the final outcome of the Rimini Street case to lay concrete ground rules for how third-party software support can be conducted legally.


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com







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Oracle v. SAP: Appeals court rebuffs Oracle bid to restore record verdict - San Jose Mercury News

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Oracle's bid to wrest another $1 billion in damages from software rival SAP took a hit Friday in a federal appeals court.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the most part rejected Oracle's legal arguments for restoring a $1.3 billion jury verdict arising from a 2010 trial against SAP, believed to be the largest such damages award in a copyright infringement case. Under the appeals court ruling, Oracle can roll the dice with another trial, but would still not be entitled to seek such a hefty penalty against the German software giant.


The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California.

The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)



SAP admitted before trial four years ago that a now-defunct subsidiary had violated Oracle's copyright protections, leaving only what SAP should pay in damages for the jury to resolve. After the trial, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton determined that the $1.3 billion judgment was excessive, primarily because she found much of it was based on what SAP would have had to pay Oracle to license the software.


This created a sticky legal question over whether Oracle should be entitled to "hypothetical" damages for a license that, as it was conceded, Oracle would never grant to its chief rival.


Oracle and SAP then agreed that SAP would pay Oracle $320 million in damages (plus $120 million in legal costs) to avoid a retrial. That settlement allowed Oracle to turn to the appeals courts to argue that the original billion-dollar verdict was legally justified.


In Friday's ruling, the 9th Circuit supported Oracle's argument that in theory it could recover hypothetical damages because the law does not require a company to prove it would have licensed its product to a competitor. But the ruling, written by Judge William Fletcher, agreed with Hamilton that Oracle fell far short of establishing the license would be worth so much money, saying its licensing damages were based on "undue speculation."


The only consolation for Oracle is that the 9th Circuit found the amount it should receive had been calculated too low by the trial judge. As a result, Oracle should recover about $356 million, unless it seeks another trial in the case.


Oracle lawyers said the outcome still allows the company to recover a large amount for SAP's "brazen conduct."


"This sends a strong message to those who would prefer to cheat than compete fairly and legally," said Dorian Daley, Oracle's general counsel.


In the case closely watched in Silicon Valley, SAP acknowledged that employees of its TomorrowNow subsidiary illegally downloaded thousands of copies of Oracle software and used them for TomorrowNow customers without paying for a license. Those accusations led SAP to plead guilty to federal criminal copyright infringement charges in 2011.


The trial included testimony by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who told the jury that the software theft was worth $4 billion, and SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott, who valued the technology at about $40 million.


Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz.







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SAP head wants to simplify company's product line, message - USA TODAY

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PALM BEACH, Fla. — When Bill McDermott became SAP's sole CEO in May, it helped clarify who was ultimately in charge of the world's third-largest software company.


Now, McDermott intends to make clear the company's enterprise product line and marketing message.


"Run simple. That's it," says McDermott, who is briefly luxuriating in south Florida where he lives part of the year, after a board meeting in late August. A window behind him frames the Atlantic Ocean and palm trees rippling in the breeze. (McDermott spent most of the summer in Germany, where SAP is based, at his other home in Heidelberg.)


The 53-year-old, who has been with SAP for 12 years, personifies a less-is-more philosophy. In a 90-minute interview, his first extensive sit-down in the U.S. since becoming SAP's majordomo, McDermott told USA TODAY the company is transforming itself in an era of cloud computing, mobile devices and the ubiquitous Internet of Things.


His message is simple: Make it easier for corporate customers like Under Armour, ConAgra Foods and the NBA to simplify their technical operations and improve efficiency. Indeed, "Run simple" is the tag line of a major marketing push that is in the midst of a "soft launch" with a TV/digital/print campaign set for early 2015.


"We want to make the S in SAP stand for 'simple,'" says SAP Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Becher. "We haven't gotten there yet."


SAP has rightly earned its reputation — not to mention billions of dollars in revenue and market value — as a trusted purveyor of business software. Yet it finds itself at a crossroads, competing against upstart software-as-service companies like Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Workday.


The cornerstone, called SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, is a managed-services version of its popular enterprise app suite on HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance), a database-management system. It is capable of quickly churning through massive amounts of information. SAP also offers public cloud apps for key lines of business such as human resources, sales, marketing and procurement, an alternative to software-as-service vendors such as NetSuite, Salesforce.com and Workday.


The most intractable challenge for a CEO today is complexity, McDermott says, waving a sheet of statistics to highlight his point. An Economist piece in 2010 said 90% of executives think business is becoming more complex; 40% of executives polled by McKinsey worry their organizations can't keep pace.


"When Leonardo Da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, he didn't mean doing simple things," McDermott said in a May 21 note to SAP employees after his promotion. "I think he meant doing complicated things simply."


McDermott says he's counting on the leadership change to accelerate decision-making at the Germany-based software maker and fuel revenue growth in the face of withering competition.


Tough sledding for legacy software


The changes come amid some tough sledding for SAP, whose stock price has dipped this year on slower revenue growth. The company is also in the process of slicing 3% of its 67,000-person workforce.



SAP CEO Bill McDermott(Photo: SAP)



"Anything they can do to simplify their product and organization is fine. But have SAP's changes come too late?" says Fred Laluyaux, a former SAP executive who is currently CEO at Anaplan, a cloud start-up that competes with SAP. He oversaw financial products at SAP from 2008 to 2012.


"What they're dealing with is a lack of patience from CIOs dealing with expensive, complex software," Laluyaux says. "Many customers are bailing on barbaric, legacy software and moving to cloud and mobile solutions."


SAP is attempting to navigate the difficult transition from designing financial, manufacturing and human-resource software for businesses' data centers to delivering applications online. Revenue this year is expected to increase 4% — the same as last year — to $24 billion, according to financial analysts. Under McDermott and former co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP's growth surpassed 10% from 2010-13.


McDermott and Snabe oversaw a four-year winning streak of revenue and profits, and a bump in SAP's stock.


It's the constant management changes that have investors worried. McDermott's promotion in May coincided with Snabe's appointment to SAP's supervisory board and the abrupt resignation of Vishal Sikka, who headed SAP's tech efforts in Silicon Valley.


"Investors will become increasingly worried if other changes occur in the near future," Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Laurent Daure said in a note to clients.


Then there are things beyond SAP's — or anyone else's — control.


Among the company's challenges are political tensions in Eastern Europe, and the escalating sanctions Russia faces from the U.S. and European Union.


Although recent EU sanctions on Russia could lead to longer sales cycles, McDermott has told shareholders SAP is "confident" any impact could be counterbalanced by global sales.


Oracle, meanwhile, is reviving efforts in a federal appeals court to win more than $1.3 billion in damages from SAP over a 7-year-old copyright-infringement suit.


McDermott leans forward to make his point. "I've been CEO for five years," says the Flushing, N.Y., native who got his start owning a deli as a teenager, and is the only American CEO in SAP's 42-year history. "I make sure to walk the walk and talk the talk."


An incongruous goal?


But is the new SAP at odds with what made it a multibillion-dollar company?


McDermott's goal — first broached at SAP's annual Sapphire Conference in Orlando, Fla., in June — is an audacious, some might argue contrarian, promise from a company known for its complicated enterprise applications.


The irony isn't lost on McDermott, who acknowledged SAP's technology has been "too complex."


SAP's cloud technology can be simplified in two ways, according to McDermott. First, you won't have to deal with hardware and systems-management issues. Second, you gain performance and simplification advantages. SAP itself runs on this cloud, and it collapsed its data footprint from 11 terabytes to 2 terabytes.


"Think of Hana as the great simplifier," he says.


The questions remain: Do customers want this type of cloud, amid promises of simplifications and performance gains?


Yes, says Bernd Leukert, head of products and innovation at SAP, who is sitting on a sun-splashed patio at SAP's Silicon Valley campus in Palo Alto, Calif., last Thursday night. He argues simpler, more-efficient products allow corporations to consolidate tech operations, which lead to cost savings and investments in innovation.


Two of SAP's largest customers have made the technological transition to streamline operations and get more creative.


"Our partnership with SAP powers our stats site — they have been an enabler for us," says Michael Gliedman, chief information officer of the NBA, one of several major professional sports leagues that assiduously use Hana to slice and dice data. A program developed by SAP, SportVU, records every movement and action of a basketball player during a game.


ConAgra Foods, an SAP customer for 15 years, has leveraged Hana to simplify its financial closing and forecasting. Managers at the multibillion-dollar conglomerate will soon be able to model business decisions in forecasts for things like advertising dollars and material costs at a detailed level to maximize profit margin.


"The technology was the easy part," says Mindy Simon, vice president of information technology at ConAgra. "The hard part was opening your imagination."


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Oracle loses bid to restore $1.3 billion SAP verdict, could get new trial - Reuters

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Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:43pm EDT



The company logo is shown at the headquarters of Oracle Corporation in Redwood City, California in this February 2, 2010 file photograph. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

The company logo is shown at the headquarters of Oracle Corporation in Redwood City, California in this February 2, 2010 file photograph.


Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files





(Reuters) - Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) failed to revive a $1.3 billion jury verdict in its long-running copyright dispute with German software company SAP SE (SAPG.DE) as a U.S. appeals court said Oracle must choose to accept a lower amount or face a new trial.



In a ruling on Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said jurors used "an undue amount of speculation" in awarding $1.3 billion in damages in 2010.



But the court found U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, had erred in concluding that Oracle deserved only $272 million of damages, a sum Oracle rejected.



Writing for a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, Judge William Fletcher directed Hamilton to offer Oracle a choice of $356.7 million of damages or a second trial.



In a statement, Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said the company is "thrilled about this landmark recovery." Asked whether Oracle will accept the $356.7 million or proceed to another trial, a company spokeswoman declined to comment.



SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the ruling is favorable and "shows the strength of our position."



The case involved SAP's TomorrowNow unit, which the German company had bought to provide software support to Oracle customers at lower rates than what Oracle charged, hoping to persuade them to become SAP customers.



Oracle sued SAP in 2007 after noticing thousands of suspicious downloads of its software.



SAP later conceded that its employees were illegally downloading Oracle files, but it couldn't agree with Oracle on damages. The 2010 trial between the two enterprise software competitors was widely watched at the time, as top Oracle executives Larry Ellison and Safra Catz testified.



Subsequently, SAP agreed to pay Oracle $306 million, but that agreement allowed Oracle to seek to restore the jury verdict, or win a retrial based on its own damages theories.



During the 2010 trial, Oracle had said internal SAP documents showed the German software company expected over $1 billion in revenue from TomorrowNow. However, the 9th Circuit rejected that reasoning given that SAP had paid much less to buy TomorrowNow.



"If SAP truly anticipated that TomorrowNow would produce a $1.3 billion benefit to SAP, as Oracle contends, a $10 million acquisition price is strikingly low," Fletcher wrote.



In finding the $272 million damages award "below the maximum amount sustainable by the proof," Fletcher said Hamilton erred in finding that Oracle had lost just $36 million of profit, when the proper figure should have been $120.7 million.



The case is Oracle Corp et al v. SAP AG et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-16944.



(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Dan Levine in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)










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SAP, a devices company? Maybe, maybe not - PCWorld

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PCWorld News


While SAP has made a big push into mobile software and device management with the acquisition of Sybase and a series of apps, it hasn’t made overt moves into the devices market. But this could change down the road, judging from a recently published patent application submitted by SAP.


The application, which was published late last month, describes a “foldable information worker mobile device” which can be reconfigured to work as a tablet, laptop, phone, e-reader and other device types as an employee moves through a series of tasks.


Beyond the obvious advantage of combining multiple devices into one unit, it could improve software compatibility, lower data synchronization requirements and cut users’ “cognitive burden,” according to the application.


An SAP spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the application, which was first flagged by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.


It’s not difficult to imagine how such a device would fit into SAP’s mobile strategy, a key piece of which is Fiori, a large and growing set of lightweight mobile applications that tap data and processes from its flagship Business Suite software.


SAP has also been keen to change the public’s perception of it as a vendor of large, complex back-end software packages. Earlier this year, it unveiled a new marketing tag line, “Run Simple,” and the first in a series of simplified versions of Business Suite modules.


However, while SAP has close relationships with hardware companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, particularly with respect to systems that run its Hana in-memory database platform, it has shied away from selling hardware itself, whether through direct or contract manufacturing.


Therefore, SAP watchers would be wise to temper their expectations, according to one observer.


“I’d say that it’s one of those patents you file when you see that the future of work will evolve in a certain way and you can use it as part of your patent portfolio,” said analyst Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research. “If we see them build out a hardware ecosystem for their software, they could potentially have a Foxconn build these for themselves. However, it’s a bit far-fetched. It’s a good defensive patent though.”




Chris Kanaracus , IDG News Service


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service.

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Oracle v. SAP: Appeals court rebuffs Oracle bid to restore record verdict - Milpitas Post

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Oracle's bid to wrest another $1 billion in damages from software rival SAP took a hit Friday in a federal appeals court.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the most part rejected Oracle's legal arguments for restoring a $1.3 billion jury verdict arising from a 2010 trial against SAP, believed to be the largest such damages award in a copyright infringement case. Under the appeals court ruling, Oracle can roll the dice with another trial, but would still not be entitled to seek such a hefty penalty against the German software giant.


The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California.

The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)



SAP admitted before trial four years ago that a now-defunct subsidiary had violated Oracle's copyright protections, leaving only what SAP should pay in damages for the jury to resolve. After the trial, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton determined that the $1.3 billion judgment was excessive, primarily because she found much of it was based on what SAP would have had to pay Oracle to license the software.


This created a sticky legal question over whether Oracle should be entitled to "hypothetical" damages for a license that, as it was conceded, Oracle would never grant to its chief rival.


Oracle and SAP then agreed that SAP would pay Oracle $320 million in damages (plus $120 million in legal costs) to avoid a retrial. That settlement allowed Oracle to turn to the appeals courts to argue that the original billion-dollar verdict was legally justified.


In Friday's ruling, the 9th Circuit supported Oracle's argument that in theory it could recover hypothetical damages because the law does not require a company to prove it would have licensed its product to a competitor. But the ruling, written by Judge William Fletcher, agreed with Hamilton that Oracle fell far short of establishing the license would be worth so much money, saying its licensing damages were based on "undue speculation."


The only consolation for Oracle is that the 9th Circuit found the amount it should receive had been calculated too low by the trial judge. As a result, Oracle should recover about $356 million, unless it seeks another trial in the case.


Oracle lawyers said the outcome still allows the company to recover a large amount for SAP's "brazen conduct."


"This sends a strong message to those who would prefer to cheat than compete fairly and legally," said Dorian Daley, Oracle's general counsel.


In the case closely watched in Silicon Valley, SAP acknowledged that employees of its TomorrowNow subsidiary illegally downloaded thousands of copies of Oracle software and used them for TomorrowNow customers without paying for a license. Those accusations led SAP to plead guilty to federal criminal copyright infringement charges in 2011.


The trial included testimony by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who told the jury that the software theft was worth $4 billion, and SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott, who valued the technology at about $40 million.


Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz.







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Appeals court denies Oracle request to restore $1.3B judgment against SAP - Computerworld

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Oracle has failed to persuade a federal appeals court to restore $1.3 billion judgment in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against SAP, but will have the options of taking a lesser amount of money or pursuing a new trial.


The jury initially awarded the $1.3 billion to Oracle in 2010, but the judgment was subsequently vacated by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who had overseen the case. Hamilton found the jury overreached and said Oracle could accept a lower award of $272 million or seek a new trial.


Oracle at first opted for a new trial, but then reached a settlement wherein SAP would pay out $306 million, with Oracle reserving the right to appeal Hamilton's ruling overturning the $1.3 billion judgment.


While the jury engaged in "undue speculation" when reaching the $1.3 billion verdict, Hamilton erred in setting the damages at only $272 million, justices at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded in their ruling, which was released Friday. Oracle is now entitled to either $356.7 million in damages or a new trial, according to the ruling.


The company sued SAP in 2007, alleging that a now-closed subsidiary, TomorrowNow, had made illegal downloads of Oracle's software while providing software support services to Oracle customers. SAP ultimately accepted liability for wrongdoing on the part of TomorrowNow, resulting in a trial on damages that produced the initial $1.3 billion judgment.


"We are very pleased with the court's action today," SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said Friday. "We feel it very much supports our position."


Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to comment on the court's decision.


The appeals court also upheld the lower court's ruling that if a new trial is held, Oracle cannot present arguments related to damages for hypothetical license fees. Oracle had argued SAP should pay the fair market value of what it would have cost to license the illegally downloaded software, as well as to develop it.


TomorrowNow offered Oracle customers support at half the cost of vendor maintenance. It catered to customers with stable systems and little desire or need for the continuous software version upgrades provided by vendor support.


Oracle is also suing Rimini Street, a company led by TomorrowNow co-founder Seth Ravin, claiming it duplicated TomorrowNow's "corrupt business model."


While that case has yet to go to trial, Rimini has suffered a number of adverse pre-trial rulings, with a judge twice finding it had violated Oracle's copyrights.


Industry observers expect the final outcome of the Rimini Street case to lay concrete ground rules for how third-party software support can be conducted legally.


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


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SAP head wants to simplify company's product line, message - USA TODAY

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PALM BEACH, Fla. — When Bill McDermott became SAP's sole CEO in May, it helped clarify who was ultimately in charge of the world's third-largest software company.


Now, McDermott intends to make clear the company's enterprise product line and marketing message.


"Run simple. That's it," says McDermott, who is briefly luxuriating in south Florida where he lives part of the year, after a board meeting in late August. A window behind him frames the Atlantic Ocean and palm trees rippling in the breeze. (McDermott spent most of the summer in Germany, where SAP is based, at his other home in Heidelberg.)


The 53-year-old, who has been with SAP for 12 years, personifies a less-is-more philosophy. In a 90-minute interview, his first extensive sit-down in the U.S. since becoming SAP's majordomo, McDermott told USA TODAY the company is transforming itself in an era of cloud computing, mobile devices and the ubiquitous Internet of Things.


His message is simple: Make it easier for corporate customers like Under Armour, ConAgra Foods and the NBA to simplify their technical operations and improve efficiency. Indeed, "Run simple" is the tag line of a major marketing push that is in the midst of a "soft launch" with a TV/digital/print campaign set for early 2015.


"We want to make the S in SAP stand for 'simple,'" says SAP Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Becher. "We haven't gotten there yet."


SAP has rightly earned its reputation — not to mention billions of dollars in revenue and market value — as a trusted purveyor of business software. Yet it finds itself at a crossroads, competing against upstart software-as-service companies like Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Workday.


The cornerstone, called SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, is a managed-services version of its popular enterprise app suite on HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance), a database-management system. It is capable of quickly churning through massive amounts of information. SAP also offers public cloud apps for key lines of business such as human resources, sales, marketing and procurement, an alternative to software-as-service vendors such as NetSuite, Salesforce.com and Workday.


The most intractable challenge for a CEO today is complexity, McDermott says, waving a sheet of statistics to highlight his point. An Economist piece in 2010 said 90% of executives think business is becoming more complex; 40% of executives polled by McKinsey worry their organizations can't keep pace.


"When Leonardo Da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, he didn't mean doing simple things," McDermott said in a May 21 note to SAP employees after his promotion. "I think he meant doing complicated things simply."


McDermott says he's counting on the leadership change to accelerate decision-making at the Germany-based software maker and fuel revenue growth in the face of withering competition.


Tough sledding for legacy software


The changes come amid some tough sledding for SAP, whose stock price has dipped this year on slower revenue growth. The company is also in the process of slicing 3% of its 67,000-person workforce.



SAP CEO Bill McDermott(Photo: SAP)



"Anything they can do to simplify their product and organization is fine. But have SAP's changes come too late?" says Fred Laluyaux, a former SAP executive who is currently CEO at Anaplan, a cloud start-up that competes with SAP. He oversaw financial products at SAP from 2008 to 2012.


"What they're dealing with is a lack of patience from CIOs dealing with expensive, complex software," Laluyaux says. "Many customers are bailing on barbaric, legacy software and moving to cloud and mobile solutions."


SAP is attempting to navigate the difficult transition from designing financial, manufacturing and human-resource software for businesses' data centers to delivering applications online. Revenue this year is expected to increase 4% — the same as last year — to $24 billion, according to financial analysts. Under McDermott and former co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP's growth surpassed 10% from 2010-13.


McDermott and Snabe oversaw a four-year winning streak of revenue and profits, and a bump in SAP's stock.


It's the constant management changes that have investors worried. McDermott's promotion in May coincided with Snabe's appointment to SAP's supervisory board and the abrupt resignation of Vishal Sikka, who headed SAP's tech efforts in Silicon Valley.


"Investors will become increasingly worried if other changes occur in the near future," Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Laurent Daure said in a note to clients.


Then there are things beyond SAP's — or anyone else's — control.


Among the company's challenges are political tensions in Eastern Europe, and the escalating sanctions Russia faces from the U.S. and European Union.


Although recent EU sanctions on Russia could lead to longer sales cycles, McDermott has told shareholders SAP is "confident" any impact could be counterbalanced by global sales.


Oracle, meanwhile, is reviving efforts in a federal appeals court to win more than $1.3 billion in damages from SAP over a 7-year-old copyright-infringement suit.


McDermott leans forward to make his point. "I've been CEO for five years," says the Flushing, N.Y., native who got his start owning a deli as a teenager, and is the only American CEO in SAP's 42-year history. "I make sure to walk the walk and talk the talk."


An incongruous goal?


But is the new SAP at odds with what made it a multibillion-dollar company?


McDermott's goal — first broached at SAP's annual Sapphire Conference in Orlando, Fla., in June — is an audacious, some might argue contrarian, promise from a company known for its complicated enterprise applications.


The irony isn't lost on McDermott, who acknowledged SAP's technology has been "too complex."


SAP's cloud technology can be simplified in two ways, according to McDermott. First, you won't have to deal with hardware and systems-management issues. Second, you gain performance and simplification advantages. SAP itself runs on this cloud, and it collapsed its data footprint from 11 terabytes to 2 terabytes.


"Think of Hana as the great simplifier," he says.


The questions remain: Do customers want this type of cloud, amid promises of simplifications and performance gains?


Yes, says Bernd Leukert, head of products and innovation at SAP, who is sitting on a sun-splashed patio at SAP's Silicon Valley campus in Palo Alto, Calif., last Thursday night. He argues simpler, more-efficient products allow corporations to consolidate tech operations, which lead to cost savings and investments in innovation.


Two of SAP's largest customers have made the technological transition to streamline operations and get more creative.


"Our partnership with SAP powers our stats site — they have been an enabler for us," says Michael Gliedman, chief information officer of the NBA, one of several major professional sports leagues that assiduously use Hana to slice and dice data. A program developed by SAP, SportVU, records every movement and action of a basketball player during a game.


ConAgra Foods, an SAP customer for 15 years, has leveraged Hana to simplify its financial closing and forecasting. Managers at the multibillion-dollar conglomerate will soon be able to model business decisions in forecasts for things like advertising dollars and material costs at a detailed level to maximize profit margin.


"The technology was the easy part," says Mindy Simon, vice president of information technology at ConAgra. "The hard part was opening your imagination."


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Oracle loses bid to restore $1.3 billion SAP verdict, could get new trial - Reuters

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Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:43pm EDT



The company logo is shown at the headquarters of Oracle Corporation in Redwood City, California in this February 2, 2010 file photograph. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

The company logo is shown at the headquarters of Oracle Corporation in Redwood City, California in this February 2, 2010 file photograph.


Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files





(Reuters) - Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) failed to revive a $1.3 billion jury verdict in its long-running copyright dispute with German software company SAP SE (SAPG.DE) as a U.S. appeals court said Oracle must choose to accept a lower amount or face a new trial.



In a ruling on Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said jurors used "an undue amount of speculation" in awarding $1.3 billion in damages in 2010.



But the court found U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, had erred in concluding that Oracle deserved only $272 million of damages, a sum Oracle rejected.



Writing for a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, Judge William Fletcher directed Hamilton to offer Oracle a choice of $356.7 million of damages or a second trial.



In a statement, Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said the company is "thrilled about this landmark recovery." Asked whether Oracle will accept the $356.7 million or proceed to another trial, a company spokeswoman declined to comment.



SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the ruling is favorable and "shows the strength of our position."



The case involved SAP's TomorrowNow unit, which the German company had bought to provide software support to Oracle customers at lower rates than what Oracle charged, hoping to persuade them to become SAP customers.



Oracle sued SAP in 2007 after noticing thousands of suspicious downloads of its software.



SAP later conceded that its employees were illegally downloading Oracle files, but it couldn't agree with Oracle on damages. The 2010 trial between the two enterprise software competitors was widely watched at the time, as top Oracle executives Larry Ellison and Safra Catz testified.



Subsequently, SAP agreed to pay Oracle $306 million, but that agreement allowed Oracle to seek to restore the jury verdict, or win a retrial based on its own damages theories.



During the 2010 trial, Oracle had said internal SAP documents showed the German software company expected over $1 billion in revenue from TomorrowNow. However, the 9th Circuit rejected that reasoning given that SAP had paid much less to buy TomorrowNow.



"If SAP truly anticipated that TomorrowNow would produce a $1.3 billion benefit to SAP, as Oracle contends, a $10 million acquisition price is strikingly low," Fletcher wrote.



In finding the $272 million damages award "below the maximum amount sustainable by the proof," Fletcher said Hamilton erred in finding that Oracle had lost just $36 million of profit, when the proper figure should have been $120.7 million.



The case is Oracle Corp et al v. SAP AG et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-16944.



(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Dan Levine in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)










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SAP, a devices company? Maybe, maybe not - PCWorld

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PCWorld News


While SAP has made a big push into mobile software and device management with the acquisition of Sybase and a series of apps, it hasn’t made overt moves into the devices market. But this could change down the road, judging from a recently published patent application submitted by SAP.


The application, which was published late last month, describes a “foldable information worker mobile device” which can be reconfigured to work as a tablet, laptop, phone, e-reader and other device types as an employee moves through a series of tasks.


Beyond the obvious advantage of combining multiple devices into one unit, it could improve software compatibility, lower data synchronization requirements and cut users’ “cognitive burden,” according to the application.


An SAP spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the application, which was first flagged by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.


It’s not difficult to imagine how such a device would fit into SAP’s mobile strategy, a key piece of which is Fiori, a large and growing set of lightweight mobile applications that tap data and processes from its flagship Business Suite software.


SAP has also been keen to change the public’s perception of it as a vendor of large, complex back-end software packages. Earlier this year, it unveiled a new marketing tag line, “Run Simple,” and the first in a series of simplified versions of Business Suite modules.


However, while SAP has close relationships with hardware companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, particularly with respect to systems that run its Hana in-memory database platform, it has shied away from selling hardware itself, whether through direct or contract manufacturing.


Therefore, SAP watchers would be wise to temper their expectations, according to one observer.


“I’d say that it’s one of those patents you file when you see that the future of work will evolve in a certain way and you can use it as part of your patent portfolio,” said analyst Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research. “If we see them build out a hardware ecosystem for their software, they could potentially have a Foxconn build these for themselves. However, it’s a bit far-fetched. It’s a good defensive patent though.”




Chris Kanaracus , IDG News Service


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service.

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Oracle v. SAP: Appeals court rebuffs Oracle bid to restore record verdict - Milpitas Post

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Oracle's bid to wrest another $1 billion in damages from software rival SAP took a hit Friday in a federal appeals court.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the most part rejected Oracle's legal arguments for restoring a $1.3 billion jury verdict arising from a 2010 trial against SAP, believed to be the largest such damages award in a copyright infringement case. Under the appeals court ruling, Oracle can roll the dice with another trial, but would still not be entitled to seek such a hefty penalty against the German software giant.


The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California.

The Oracle logo is displayed in front of the Oracle headquarters on June 19, 2014 in Redwood Shores, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)



SAP admitted before trial four years ago that a now-defunct subsidiary had violated Oracle's copyright protections, leaving only what SAP should pay in damages for the jury to resolve. After the trial, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton determined that the $1.3 billion judgment was excessive, primarily because she found much of it was based on what SAP would have had to pay Oracle to license the software.


This created a sticky legal question over whether Oracle should be entitled to "hypothetical" damages for a license that, as it was conceded, Oracle would never grant to its chief rival.


Oracle and SAP then agreed that SAP would pay Oracle $320 million in damages (plus $120 million in legal costs) to avoid a retrial. That settlement allowed Oracle to turn to the appeals courts to argue that the original billion-dollar verdict was legally justified.


In Friday's ruling, the 9th Circuit supported Oracle's argument that in theory it could recover hypothetical damages because the law does not require a company to prove it would have licensed its product to a competitor. But the ruling, written by Judge William Fletcher, agreed with Hamilton that Oracle fell far short of establishing the license would be worth so much money, saying its licensing damages were based on "undue speculation."


The only consolation for Oracle is that the 9th Circuit found the amount it should receive had been calculated too low by the trial judge. As a result, Oracle should recover about $356 million, unless it seeks another trial in the case.


Oracle lawyers said the outcome still allows the company to recover a large amount for SAP's "brazen conduct."


"This sends a strong message to those who would prefer to cheat than compete fairly and legally," said Dorian Daley, Oracle's general counsel.


In the case closely watched in Silicon Valley, SAP acknowledged that employees of its TomorrowNow subsidiary illegally downloaded thousands of copies of Oracle software and used them for TomorrowNow customers without paying for a license. Those accusations led SAP to plead guilty to federal criminal copyright infringement charges in 2011.


The trial included testimony by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who told the jury that the software theft was worth $4 billion, and SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott, who valued the technology at about $40 million.


Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz.







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Appeals court denies Oracle request to restore $1.3B judgment against SAP - Computerworld

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Oracle has failed to persuade a federal appeals court to restore $1.3 billion judgment in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against SAP, but will have the options of taking a lesser amount of money or pursuing a new trial.


The jury initially awarded the $1.3 billion to Oracle in 2010, but the judgment was subsequently vacated by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who had overseen the case. Hamilton found the jury overreached and said Oracle could accept a lower award of $272 million or seek a new trial.


Oracle at first opted for a new trial, but then reached a settlement wherein SAP would pay out $306 million, with Oracle reserving the right to appeal Hamilton's ruling overturning the $1.3 billion judgment.


While the jury engaged in "undue speculation" when reaching the $1.3 billion verdict, Hamilton erred in setting the damages at only $272 million, justices at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded in their ruling, which was released Friday. Oracle is now entitled to either $356.7 million in damages or a new trial, according to the ruling.


The company sued SAP in 2007, alleging that a now-closed subsidiary, TomorrowNow, had made illegal downloads of Oracle's software while providing software support services to Oracle customers. SAP ultimately accepted liability for wrongdoing on the part of TomorrowNow, resulting in a trial on damages that produced the initial $1.3 billion judgment.


"We are very pleased with the court's action today," SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said Friday. "We feel it very much supports our position."


Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to comment on the court's decision.


The appeals court also upheld the lower court's ruling that if a new trial is held, Oracle cannot present arguments related to damages for hypothetical license fees. Oracle had argued SAP should pay the fair market value of what it would have cost to license the illegally downloaded software, as well as to develop it.


TomorrowNow offered Oracle customers support at half the cost of vendor maintenance. It catered to customers with stable systems and little desire or need for the continuous software version upgrades provided by vendor support.


Oracle is also suing Rimini Street, a company led by TomorrowNow co-founder Seth Ravin, claiming it duplicated TomorrowNow's "corrupt business model."


While that case has yet to go to trial, Rimini has suffered a number of adverse pre-trial rulings, with a judge twice finding it had violated Oracle's copyrights.


Industry observers expect the final outcome of the Rimini Street case to lay concrete ground rules for how third-party software support can be conducted legally.


Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


This story, "Appeals court denies Oracle request to restore $1.3B judgment against SAP" was originally published by IDG News Service .







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