SAP responds to Saleforce's cloud trash talk

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SAP has bitten back against comments made by the chief executive of last week, saying he should spend more time talking about his own company.

During Dreamforce 09 in San Francisco last week, Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce, claimed that SAP had dropped the ball by not embracing cloud computing and even claimed the company had "destroyed" itself.

However, Bill Wohl, global director of communications for SAP, told IT PRO Benioff should stop talking about the competition and look closer to home.

"Marc is talking out of both sides of his mouth... and he can't have it both ways," said Wohl.

"He wants to be like SAP... he wants his company to be thought of as enterprise-level software company [but] what he is struggling to break Salesforce out of the niche it is in."

Wohl continued to lay criticism on the company believing its on-demand business model wasn't enough to win over large enterprises.

"On-demand is not enough for today's companies, it is what the software does," he said. "What Salesforce is trying to figure out is how to make itself more than what it is just a narrow slice of CRM."

SAP claims to be taking a hybrid approach towards cloud computing and believes this is the way the market will go.

"I think at the end of the day one of the things Marc is talking about is all cloud all the time or you are not innovative," continued Wohl.

"What customers are telling us today is they are fascinated by the cloud but they are interested in a hybrid model. They fully expect to have a mixture of on premise and on demand."

Wohl said that his company has its own path and companies like Salesforce needed to pay attention.

"What you are hearing from Marc Benioff is a very concerned executive knowing that SAP is a competitor he needs to keep an eye on. If we get successful with what we are going to be doing with on demand from a hybrid model, Marc has to wonder whether he can keep a market share against SAP."

He concluded: "Marc has had his 15 minutes of fame [but] over the long haul customers will decide who has relevancy. He would do himself well to talk more about his own company than others. We are coming.... and Marc can see us out of his rear view mirror."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.