I am surprised SAP has not announced that the standard database from the Sybase acquisition is free to all SAP system users. I will even be more surprised if they do not make the announcement at Sapphire 2012.
Why would SAP give away Sybase ASE? They could make some amount of revenue by selling it, but by giving it away they improve the ROI of the migration. Migration costs are the biggest barrier to any DB or OS change under an SAP system. In addition, they take away the 20% maintenance and enhancement (M&E) fees their number #1 competitor, Oracle, is gaining from every SAP system running on Oracle. I wonder how much of the reported $12B Oracle reported of support revenue in 3rd quarter is driven by SAP systems running on Oracle RDBMS. That is potentially billions of dollars that Oracle does not have to attack SAP, develop new applications, or build a cloud business. Oracle’s M&E, like everyone in the software business, is a substantial part of the revenue and more importantly profit stream of the business.
In addition, SAP can optimize the ASE database for SAP. In fact they could make all other vendors’ database versions a port. The best and brightest capabilities would be in found in the latest release of ASE coupled to SAP. In addition, they can up sell Sybase Replication Services (SRS) as an Extract, Translate, and Load (ETL) engine, Disaster Recovery (DR) solution, and high availability (HA) solution. They also can up sell to HANA for higher performance.
Pushing out ASE will cost something. SAP will have to support, develop, and move ASE forward. They should have those resources from the acquisition and from previous DB efforts like mySQL. Most of that cost is already accounted for excluding the go forward actions to stay on par with other major DB vendors in the SAP world; however, Sybase is are major player in the financials arena today, too.
SAP is going to break some glass with the big database providers, Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM. While I’m sure they don’t care about Oracle’s opinion, they are strongly partnered with Microsoft and IBM. It may be taken very poorly by IBM and Microsoft; however, I’m not sure either of them can let go of all the other areas they are linked into SAP especially IBM who has the world’s best (my opinion and Forrester’s) largest SAP practices.
HANA may be getting all the headlines, but the world is not done with RDBMS. There is still a need. There are still companies making lots of money, especially Oracle, on RDBMS software. When is SAP going to give its clients something FREE to smile about and at the same time take so much away from their biggest competitor, Oracle. Seems like a win-win for SAP and its clients.