SAP wins but did Oracle even bid?

Steve Brooks
Enterprise Times

Lloyds Register begins new dawn with SAP cloud ERP software

Lloyds Register has selected SAP SE to deliver a cloud based ERP and business management solution. This is a huge win for SAP as Lloyds Register has traditionally been an Oracle customer, even presenting last year at Oracle Openworld 2014 about a mobile application they had developed.

On Sunday (10/25) Larry Ellison, CTO and Executive Chairman of the Board at Oracle made his opening keynote at the event and was dismissive of SAP as he stated: “We now compete with and a new company called Workday in applications, those are the companies that we see most frequently when we sell applications in the marketplace. We virtually never ever see SAP, this is a stunning change. The largest application provider in the world is SAP, but we never see them in the cloud, and we sell a lot of applications in the cloud.”

This latest announcement by SAP questions not only the above statement but also one wonders what the Oracle sales team have been doing. Large cloud wins by Oracle and SAP have been, unlike Workday who seem to be gaining customers at both their expense, quite often.

What are Lloyds Register doing?

In the past companies announce wins that seem trivial once the actual detail is understood. While there is no revelation about the value of the deal itself and for how long it will be, there are several pertinent facts that are relevant.

Lloyds Register is not a small company. It has £1 billion turnover with 9,000 employees operating in 78 markets supporting more than 60,000 clients. Those markets are rapidly changing, each becoming digital at a different rate of change. To meet this challenge Lloyds Register has embarked on a major transformation program. They decided to look for a solution that would be part of that program and enable the changes required to the company’s finance, project management, project resourcing and human resources processes.

After an “extensive review of cloud technology vendors”, one assumes that this included Oracle, Workday, SAP and Netsuite but the actual names of the vendors were withheld, Lloyds chose SAP, as Andrew Punter, transformation director, Lloyd’s Register commented in the release:

“We are 255 years old, but standing still is just not an option. Today, businesses like Lloyd’s Register are global, we need the most modern, mobile, easy and user-friendly solutions possible to ensure we provide the right people with the right tools to make their jobs easier.

“SAP Business ByDesign and SuccessFactors can remove complexity and allow our team to focus on business innovation, not process.”

This will not be a small project, with a two year implementation plan one wonders exactly how much cloud revenues that SAP will be able to book during that two year period either.

The solution chosen, will be delivered using Software as a Service (SaaS) via SAP Business ByDesign and SuccessFactors on the SAP HANA platform. It will support the multi-language and multi-currency requirements that Lloyds Register has. More importantly Lloyds Register will be moving to a shared service operating model and this new solution will enable that.

It will be interesting how quickly the solution comes online as Lloyds Register are committing to a continuous release cycle for the solution updates. For SAP this is an important win though as Cormac Watters, Managing Director UK and Ireland at SAP commented: “Lloyd’s Register has a tremendous heritage of innovation which is why we’re so pleased to be collaborating with them on this major strategic initiative. We look forward to helping them transform the way they work and simplify their business processes.”

The SAP win is not just a blow to Oracle but as Lloyds Register were looking for new tools to support their full HR lifecycle, from “hiring to retiring” it will also be a loss to Workday. That SAP has won what appears to be an HCM centric opportunity will be a blow and one that SAP will hope to leverage in the future.


Whether Ellison, or his speech writers should have modified their tone a little in the keynote is worthy of note. The timing of this announcement by SAP seems rather opportune though, but despite that this it is a big win for SAP, SAP HANA and its cloud solutions. Lloyds Register has global brand recognition and SAP will no doubt hope to leverage that in the same way that Oracle did last year. With a two year implementation one hopes that the project goes well for SAP and Lloyds Register as this is clearly a major project.

If Oracle never see SAP in cloud bids, perhaps they need to enter more bids themselves. Ellison’s comments do bring into question how much cloud business they are actually going after. Perhaps this is one reason why they opened up their partner channel to all comers in another announcement at Openworld.

This article originally appeared in the Enterprise Times and is republished here by the permission of its author.

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