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Oracle Versus SAP: Valuations That Defy Logic

Author admin    Category IT News, Oracle, SAP     Tags

Investment advice often ignores material facts in order to explain momentum-based share price movement. Rather than focusing on undervaluation or excessively optimistic pricing, many services assign ratings tailored to validate what’s already happened.

Comparing the current advice from major research providers Value Line, Morningstar and Standard & Poor’s on large-cap software providers Oracle (ORCL) and SAP AG (SAP) will serve to illustrate the illogical nature of their conclusions.

Both ORCL and SAP are fine companies. Each showed very nice five- and 10-year growth in both revenue and EPS. From 2002 through 2007, SAP was the superior company. Over the more recent half-decade, however, Oracle has been the better performer.

(click images to enlarge)

Based strictly on the information above, you’d expect ORCL to be priced at a premium valuation compared to its own normalized levels. It would also seem appropriate for ORCL to command a higher multiple than SAP.

Here are their historical and present P/Es as of Friday, Nov. 23, 2012:

Investors want to know more than simply P/Es. Here are four other metrics for each company. Both companies rate highly, but Oracle displays a clear overall advantage.

Better stats along with lower relative and absolute valuations would seem to make the recommendation of ORCL an easy one. Surprisingly, Value Line rated Oracle only as neutral while listing SAP as a buy in their most recent full-page write-ups.

Value Line was not alone in their assessment. Here are current views from Standard & Poor’s on these two companies.

S&P assigned a 4-star (out of five) buy rating to SAP with the shares at $77.21. They called present-day “fair value” as $70.90. Standard & Poor’s 12-month price target? $78, a whopping 1.02% above the current quote. If they are correct, you’d see only a 2.23% total return over the coming year.

S&P puts ORCL’s quality ranking in the top 1% of their entire research universe. They see “fair value” as $39. That figure is 26.1% above last week’s closing price. They inexplicably carry a 12-month target price of just $34.

S&P rates Oracle only as a “hold.” Achieving even their lower, very modest, $34 goal would bring investors just shy of 10% from the present price, plus a yield of 0.8%. Many people would be quite satisfied with about 11% on a high-quality stock in our ZIRP world.

Well-respected stock research firm Morningstar likes ORCL. They go with a 4-star, buy rating, while seconding S&P’s fair value at an identical $39 mark.

A change in Morningstar’s analyst coverage leaves SAP temporarily unrated (for stars). They do indicate that SAP looks overpriced based on a fair value that has been cut to 23.6% below the present price.

My own preference for predicting future price action is to assume a regression to the mean on various metrics for the same company’s shares. Note the valuations for ORCL at its previous “best buying opportunities” of the previous decade.

Oracle’s P/E is now lower than any time in the previous 18 years, excepting the exact bottom in 2008-09. Those lucky/smart enough to have caught that low had the chance at 164% gains over the following 25 months. ORCL shares look extremely cheap based on P/BV and P/CF as well.

Perform the same exercise with SAP. Today’s price does not jump out at you as a particular bargain compared with its valuations at the three most recent cyclical bottoms.

Oracle’s outstanding results are not being reflected in its share price, which remains 15.3% under its 2011 peak. Meanwhile, SAP trades just pennies below last week’s all-time high of $77.38.

Swapping out of SAP and into ORCL makes sense.



Oracle databases easy to hack, says researcher

Author admin    Category Hacker, IT News, Oracle, Security     Tags

A researcher showed today that Oracle’s databases could be hacked with brute-force attacks using only the database’s name and a username, according to Kaspersky Lab Security News.

Esteban Martinez Fayo, who works for AppSec Inc., was demonstrating his discovery at a security conference in Argentina and said that within just five hours on a regular PC using a special tool he could hack through easy passwords and access users’ data.

“It’s pretty simple,” Martinez Fayo told the security blog Dark Reading. “The attacker just needs to know a valid username in the database, and the database name. That’s it.”

Martinez Fayo says he discovered cryptographic flaws in Oracle’s password authentication that allows for an easy brute-force hack. According to Martinez Fayo, the crack doesn’t require a “man-in-the-middle” to spoof multiple users — the server leaks vital information directly to the attacker.

Martinez Fayo said that his team first told Oracle about the bugs in May 2010 and the company fixed them in 2011. However, he said, they didn’t fix the current version, which leaves 11.1 and 11.2 still susceptible to attacks. The company’s newly released version 12 does fix the problem.

This isn’t the first time that security flaws have been found on Oracle databases. In January, the company squashed 78 software bugs in a major patch that stemmed from a flaw that allowed hackers into its databases remotely. And, just last month, new vulnerabilities that can be exploited to run arbitrary code were discovered in Oracle’s latest Java 7 update.

Martinez Fayo said there are workarounds for the flaw. “Disable the protocol in Version 11.1 and start using older versions like Version 10g,” which is not vulnerable, he said. “It is vital for organizations that deploy Oracle databases affected by these vulnerabilities to administer strong workarounds to prevent an attack.”



Former Oracle, SAP Execs Land $5.5M For DIY App Development Platform AnyPresence

Author admin    Category ERP, IT News, Oracle, SAP     Tags

With the consumerization of enterprise and BYOD in full swing, big companies are being pressed into finding better ways to give their customers (and their employees) access to a robust yet user-friendly mobile experience — across mobile platforms. Looking to bring a little fresh air to the enterprise mobile market, former SAP, Oracle and Siebel Systems execs teamed up to launch AnyPresence in March, a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to build, customize and deploy their own HTML5, iOS and Android mobile apps without the high costs and additional manpower.

With its foundation in place, AnyPresence is now turning its attention to beefing up its backend services. To do that, the startup has closed a $5.5 million series B financing round — led by Grotech Ventures (the lead investors in LivingSocial), with contribution from existing investor Kinetic Ventures. The new capital brings the startup’s total investment to $7.5 million.

While the market is already brimming with DIY mobile platforms, be they open mobile frameworks, SMB platforms or enterprise mobile platforms. AnyPresence wants to remove the friction traditionally associated with solutions that fall into the latter category, like high cost and technical expertise, while offering the best of enterprise-grade features, like integration into source systems, extensibility, cloud data management, and so on. Then combine that with the ease of use and consume feel native to SMB-focused mobile platforms.

At the outset, the co-founders aimed to target customers like utilities providers, second-tier telecoms and regional banks — the types of businesses that need robust app-building and management solutions but don’t have the time or the budget for enterprise-grade platforms.

Co-founder and CMO Richard Mendis tells us that, so far, they’ve seen promising adoption from clients and, a bit surprising for them (but perhaps not given the macro picture), more interest for those producing slightly more consumer-facing apps, signing up clients in healthcare, communications and services industries. The CMO tells us that, as a result, the company has already exceeded its revenue projections for the year and hitting these benchmarks was the validation it needed to close its new series B round.

Mendis said that the company has been pleased to find that there’s plenty of demand for mid-sized enterprise DIY mobile platforms, as companies are eager to adopt solutions that offer the kind of cool features Parse and StackMob offer for mobile backends — but that many end up shying away from because they’re multitenant, with limited database and on-premise deployment options.

The other part of the AnyPresence approach that differentiates them from others in the market is that it doesn’t require users to install any software of SDKs to get started — even if they want 100 percent native iOS or Android apps. They also give enterprise customers the ability to publish to the cloud or host on-premise if needed, take advantage of pre-built mobile templates to create industry-specific apps that connect to their IT environment and enable further customization of the app outside of the AnyPresence platform.

The startup plans to use its new funding to beef up its product development, sales and development teams, with particular focus on the latter, as it plans to add an enterprise backend-as-a-service (MBaaS?) piece to its platform in Q4 of this year. The co-founder said that, so far, this has been one of the most popular features — the ability to customize the front or backend code of the app that was generated by AnyPresence — while other solutions tend to lock customers in rather than enable this kind of customization.

Companies will be able to build entire mobile apps in AnyPresence, or use its backend services while custom-building the app’s interface in another tool while using its SDKs. This will be similar in concept to Parse, he says, but with added enterprise features like a dedicated server stack and the option to deploy the run-time server on-premise. And, while the startup currently generates the backend mobile app server in Ruby On Rails, based on demand, it plans to support a Java version by the end of the year.

For more on AnyPresence, find it here. SEC filing here.




Former Oracle & SAP Execs Launch AnyPresence To Bring DIY Native Mobile Apps To Enterprise

Author admin    Category IT News, Mobile, Oracle, SAP, Software     Tags

Mobile is getting sexier and sexier, and businesses are increasingly looking to establish a branded, mobile presence, giving their customers access to their services — across platforms, while on the go. With the consumerization of enterprise heating up, big companies want a platform that allows them to build their own customized apps, offering both web and native app experiences to their clients. Enter: AnyPresence, a venture-backed startup that brings a cloud-based platform for building HTML5 and native apps to enterprise, without requiring big companies to install or develop tools or SDKs.

But the market is rife with DIY mobile platforms, you say! There certainly are other players in the space, yes. So, for easy taxonomy, let’s say that these services tend to fall into three different categories. There are open mobile frameworks, like Sencha, Appcelerator, and PhoneGap, which offer third-party developers the ability to build apps quickly, while generally requiring technical expertise to install and use their frameworks.

Then there are the SMB platforms, like Bizness Apps and Apps Builder, which are geared towards businesses that don’t have back-end IT systems to integrate with, are easy to use, and targeted at non-technical users with a focus on content features, like WordPress plug-ins. Or there are enterprise mobile platforms, like Kony, Verivo, and Antenna — higher-end platforms that offer enterprise mobility features, typically for business process apps. These tend to be more expensive, because they come with stuff like capabilities for user roles and authentication, integration into source systems, extensibility, cloud data management, etc.

To define its own niche, AnyPresence essentially wants to provide the enterprise-grade infrastructure and features from the latter category, with the lower cost of ownership, ease of use, and consumer feel of the platforms that target SMBs. The startup wants to target customers like utilities providers, second tier telecom companies, regional banks — big businesses that need robust apps but don’t have the time and money to spend on traditional enterprise platforms.

While the platform does require some technical knowledge, AnyPresence wants its customers to avoid hiring contractors, specialized external mobile development — to be a platform their internal IT team can easily make sense of. So, they’ve built a platform that makes it easy to design and modify apps right from the browser, using pre-assembled “starter app” templates embedded with mobile user experience best practices that let them quickly build both employee and customer-facing apps.

And to get at those enterprise-grade features, the AnyPresence platform is a cloud-based “Back-end-as-a-Service” platform, which allows businesses to deploy HTML5 apps instantly to a scalable cloud infrastructure, as well as compile native iOS and Android apps in the cloud, while making them available for local testing, over the air distribution, or submission to app stores.

Beyond reducing development costs and offer cross-platform deployment, AnyPresence also wants users to be able to support data access and security policies with user roles, app permissions, and data availability, along with enabling them to extend their reach to non-smartphone mobile users through text messaging and interactive voice response capabilities. Going beyond other non-technical, consumer-facing options, the platform supports services-based platform extensions and allows IT staff to use any programming language of choice, in addition to offering a set of APIs to assemble and generate custom apps or enable app development from third-parties.

Another bonus is that, in the attempt to build a platform that’s extensible, the startup offers integration with Twilio out of the box and wants to add further, comparable integrations soon, including Dropbox, for example. The teams also said that, since the consumerization of enterprise has been taking off, gamification is also very much on the radar.

Founded by former SAP, Oracle, and Siebel Systems executives, AnyPresence is backed from $2 million in venture funding from Kinetic Ventures, and is currently in the process of raising its series A. The startup is launching their platform in beta today, with general availability set to arrive next month. (You can sign up for the beta here.) As to pricing,
Co-Founder & CMO Richard Mendis says that the startup’s pricing begins between $15K and $20K per year, and scales up based on usage from there.

For more, check out AnyPresence at home here.



Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.2 Has Two Kernels

Author admin    Category IT News, Linux, Oracle     Tags

Enlarge picture

Oracle Enterprise Linux, an enterprise-class Linux-based operating system supported by Oracle, is now at version 6.2.  

Oracle Linux 6.2 comes with two separate Linux kernels. First one is Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (kernel-uek-2.6.32-300.3.1.el6uek) and is installed/booted by default, and the second is a Red Hat Compatible Kernel (kernel-2.6.32-220.el6) which is also installed by default.

Highlights of Oracle Linux 6.2:

· OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) 1.5.1;
· OCFS2 1.6;
· DIF/DIX support;
· Tickless kernel;
· Task Control Groups (TCG);
· Performance Counters for Linux (PCL);
· SSD Detection;
· IO affinity;
· Receive packet steering (RPS);
· fallocate().

A complete list of features, new apps, removed apps, improvements, bugfixes and known issues can be found in the official announcement for Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.2.

Download Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.2



Oracle Exalytics attacks ‘big data’ analytics

Author admin    Category IT News, Oracle     Tags

Exalytics, a high-end server appliance for near-real-time business intelligence applications and a big part of Oracle’s big data response, debuted Sunday night at Oracle OpenWorld 2011.

The Exalytics box–the younger sibling of the Exadata database machine and Exalogic middleware-and-application server–was front and center during Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s opening keynote.

“I’ve been reading about this [unstructured data] in the press,” Ellison said. “I’m proud to say our Exalytics machine not only handles relational data, not only multidimensional data [but] also analyzes unstructured data at the speed of thought. Nothing is faster. There is no response time.”

Ellison’s mantra was “parallel everything” when it came to Exalytics, as well as Oracle’s recently announced Sparc Supercluster, which brings Exadata and Exalogic to the Sparc/Solaris universe.

While there was no explicit mention of Hadoop or NoSQL per se,  Exalytics–and its promised ability to handled unstructured as well as structured data — is clearly a big part of Oracle’s big data play.  Oracle is expected to talk more this week how its database and middleware can coexist and complement those technologies.

Exalytics is powered by 40 Intel Xeon cores and relies on Infiniband pipes to connect it as needed with Exadata. The secret software sauce is in-memory database technology that came with Oracle’s acquisition of TimesTen six years ago and the multi-dimensional database expertise from Essbase, which Oracle acquired with Hyperion two years later.

“When you have [an] in-memory database working in parallel it’s important to get the right data in memory. We have a heuristic adaptive in-memory cache… that tracks this. As different people ask different questions, it migrates different data in-memory. It keeps popular query results in cache,” Ellison noted.

In-memory databases, and their fast response times, are a battleground as Oracle, SAP, IBM and others try to claim supremacy in the burgeoning realm of business intelligence. There is no shortage of huge data stores, but a huge demand remains for tools to help companies better parse and apply this data profitably. That’s why SAP bought BusinessObjects and Oracle bought Hyperion.

Accessing data in standard relational databases can be slowed by disk I/O issues. If the data remains in memory (or in cache), access is much faster. SAP is pushing its HANA technology to address speed-sensitive BI applications and SAP also bulked up its in-memory capabilities by buying  Sybase.

Given Oracle’s huge database market share, it’s hard to bet against the company in this arena although both SAP and IBM are strong contenders. And Ellison has said Oracle’s ability to incorporate new data types into its core offerings is a key advantage.

On Oracle’s first-quarter earnings call two weeks ago, Ellison told analysts about how years ago, object-oriented databases were supposed to replace relational databases. “What actually happened is that object database capabilities got integrated into the Oracle database,” he said.



Oracle v. Google update: USPTO rejects several patent claims, leaves chinks in Oracle’s IP armor?

Author admin    Category Google, IT News, Oracle     Tags
Much ink has been spilled about Oracle’s lawsuit against Google for Android’s allegedly unlawful use of Java, and rightfully so, considering Team Ellison’s seeking to take more than a billion dollar chunk out of Google’s bottom line. Just because Oracle’s damage calculations add up to ten figures doesn’t mean that the court will agree with them, however. And, there’s a long legal road to be tread before the court can assign a dollar value to the case — namely it must determine if the patent claims and copyrights are valid and whether Android actually infringes them.

That’s why Google requested the USPTO re-examine the patents asserted by Oracle, as the process gives Google a shot at invalidating them outside the courtroom. It looks like the strategy is paying off, as one of those re-exams recently resulted in a rejection of 17 of the patent’s 21 claims — which reduces the number of claims Oracle can assert in court accordingly. Of course, those four remaining claims plus the 118 contained in the other six asserted patents (should they survive the re-examination process) could still spell doom for the little green bots, but it is a victory, albeit a modest one, for the team in Mountain View. So, Oracle may have a few less IP bullets to fire Google’s way, but it’s still got plenty of other legal ammo left. We’ll keep you posted when next shot’s fired.


Oracle Business Intelligence

Author admin    Category IT News, Oracle     Tags

OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) adalah produk dari Oracle yang dikhususkan untuk Business Intelligence. OBIEE merupakan salah satu tool diantara yang laen, seperti: Pentaho, SAP Business Object, IBM Cognos, Fujitsu Micro Strategy dan Qlick View. Sebenarnya perbedaan beberapa tool dari Business Intelligence itu terletak dari view OLAP, dashboard dan reporting. Pada dasarnya, elemen terpenting untuk pembuatan Business Intelligence adalah data warehouse. Analoginya sebagai berikut: “data warehouse merupakan sebuah pondasi sedangkan atapnya kita dapat menggunakan tool-tool yang sudah ada disesuaikan dengan kebutuhan dan budget“.

Secara garis besar, untuk proses instalasi dan beberapa kegunaan dari masing-masing OBIEE sebagai berikut:

  1. Adminstration Tool
    Physical Layer berfungsi untuk import data warehouse ataupun data source OLTP yang laen.
    Business Model and Mapping Layer berfungsi untuk pemodelan dan mapping catalog.
    Presentation Layer berfungsi untuk pembuatan cube, hirarki, level dan measure.
  2. Analytics -> misal:
    Berfungsi untuk analysis, dashboard, reporting, data model, score card, KPI dan masih banyak yang laen.
  3. EM -> misal:
    Berfungsi untuk deployment repository jika kita membuatnya secara offline.
  4. Console -> misal:
    Berfungsi untuk membuat user dan group yang berhak mengakses OBIEE tersebut.



Google Minta Pengadilan Abaikan Tuntutan Oracle Atas Android, Oracle Menjawab

Author admin    Category Android, IT News, Oracle     Tags

Setelah beberapa waktu berdiam diri, Google akhirnya merespons tuntutan Oracle yang mengatakan bahwa OS Android melanggar hak cipta dan paten yang berhubungan dengan Java. Google mengatakan bahwa tidak ada paten yang dilanggar (oleh Android) dan meminta klaim tersebut diabaikan karena tidak memenuhi kaidah hukum.

Google juga mengatakan Oracle sebagai hipokrit. Hal ini karena Oracle semula mendukung penuh platform Java yang terbuka ketika dimiliki oleh Sun, namun kemudian tidak peduli sama sekali atas permintaan komunitas open source untuk membuka kode sumber Java secara penuh ketika pembelian atas Sun terlaksana.

Statemen dari Google mengatakan bahwa sangat mengecewakan bahwa setelah bertahun-tahun mendukung open source, Oracle berbalik menyerang tidak saja Android namun keseluruhan komunitas open source Java dengan klaim paten yang tidak jelas. Dikatakan juga bahwa platform terbuka seperti Android merupakan hal penting untuk inovasi dan Google akan terus mendukung komunitas open source untuk menciptakan pengalaman mobile yang lebih baik untuk konsumen dan pengembang.

Oracle  kemudian merespons balik atas pernyataan Google ini dengan mengatakan bahwa Google memilih untuk menggunakan kode Java tanpa meminta sebuah lisensi. Selain itu Google telah memodifikasi teknologinya sehinga tidak sesuai dengan prinsip desain inti dari Java yaitu ‘tulis sekali, jalankan di mana saja – write once, run anywhere’. Pelanggaran Google dan pemecahan kode Java ini tidak hanya membahayakan Oracle namun juga membahayakan konsumen, pengembang, dan pembuat perangkat.

Larry Page dan Sergey Brin, Larry Ellison

Google adalah raksasa di bidang teknologi pencarian di internet dengan dua orang pemilik yaitu Larry Page dan Sergei Brin yang memiliki kekayaan masing-masing sekitar 15 miliar dolar (sekitar 130 triliun rupiah). Oracle adalah raksasa di bidang basis data, dimiliki oleh Larry Ellison, orang terkaya ketiga di dunia dengan kekayaan sekitar 27 miliar dolar (250 triliun rupiah).



Samsung terminates support for Symbian

Author admin    Category IT News, Oracle     Tags

It was almost a year ago that a senior Samsung VP was quoted expressing plans to drop Symbian. Samsung quickly backtracked on those comments with a vague commitment to its multi-OS strategy. Well, the other shoe just dropped via an email sent to registered Symbian developers advising that Samsung would close its Symbian forum and remove all Symbian content by year’s end. Not that we can blame them — while Symbian is just starting to show signs of recovery the OS has been floundering over the last few years. And Samsung, Nokia’s biggest threat in its bid to democratize smartphone sales, is already plenty busy with Bada, Windows Phone 7, and Android. So while Samsung might still be a member of Symbian Foundation, it, like Sony Ericsson, is doing so in name only.


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