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Artificial Intelligence: Article

SAP's TomorrowNow Looking Like Yesterday's Toast

Gee, evidently Oracle curses work

(November 22, 2007) - The CEO and other unidentified, unnumbered senior managers of TomorrowNow - the third-party SAP support subsidiary that Oracle has accused of hacking into its systems and lifting its proprietary software and IP wholesale in a rip snorting federal suit currently pending against SAP, SAP America and TomorrowNow - have resigned and SAP says it may sell the unit.

SAP said late Monday that TomorrowNow CEO Andrew Nelson and several people on his management team "have chosen to resign."

No reason was given. So it's unclear whether TomorrowNow's business might be going down the tubes because of the Oracle-fanned bad publicity, whether TN really needed to poach widgetry from Oracle to get on as Oracle contends, or whether SAP is looking for a way to distance itself from the whole nightmare and reduce the possible scope of Oracle's mudslinging.

Then there's also that little matter of the Justice Department investigation that SAP disclosed over the summer. Haven't heard anything about that lately.

Mark White, the guy SAP moved in there after SAP admitted that TomorrowNow made "inappropriate downloads" of Oracle materials, remains as executive chairman.

Besides a possible sale, SAP says it is "considering several options for the future of the TomorrowNow business," which it bought in early 2005 to harry its great rival by running off support contracts from Oracle acquisitions PeopleSoft and JD Edwards by promising really cheap prices 50% below Oracle's.

Oracle says the idea was to get them to ultimately abandon Oracle applications for SAP's.

In a statement White said, "Our primary focus is TomorrowNow's existing customers, who will be supported through this management transition. SAP is prepared to manage through these changes to ensure that TomorrowNow's obligations to its current customers are met."

White said he is putting programs in place to secure the delivery of continued support services and assure the retention of key managers and support personnel.

Back in March when Oracle filed suit TomorrowNow had 37 people working for it. It was started by ex-PeopleSoft folk.

The parties are due in court in February 2009. For starters, SAP and its parts are charged with fraud, copyright infringement, receipt of stolen property, wire fraud, RICO, unfair competition, interference with business relationships, unjust enrichment, conspiracy and aiding and abetting.

Oracle contends that TN never appeared to have the development capability needed to meet the support commitments advertised for its so-called SAP-designed "Safe Passage" Oracle migration program "at any price, much less the 50% discount promoted by SAP." So it had to steal Oracle's IP.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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