BusinessWeek has an article on Oracle’s recent quarterly results. After a string of acquisitions over the past 2 years, Oracle surprised onlookers who questioned Oracle’s ability to manage the multiple major acquisitions (PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel). Note that I didn’t say integrate the acquisitions, as that piece of work won’t be completed until Project Fusion is completed.

One quote from the story really made me think: Chief Executive Larry Ellison explained Oracle’s growth vs. SAP’s lackluster results due in part to:

“…SAP’s reliance on its own programming language vs. Oracle’s open-standards, Java-based approach…”

Larry is bang on with his views that open will always, over time, beat closed. I just wonder how long it will be until open source ERP & CRM efforts such as Compiere ERP+CRM (1,114,479 downloads), vtiger CRM (386,387 d/l) and SugarCRM (265,239), to name a few, will begin to put price pressure on Oracle (and SAP). I know, that these download numbers are but a drop in the bucket compared to the number of Oracle and SAP customers. But even if open source ERP & CRM projects begin to penetrate the SMB market or in emerging markets, where Oracle & SAP have both expressed a need to grow, then we may even see a ‘starter’ open source ERP/CRM solution from Oracle or SAP. That may be wishful thinking, considering that Oracle has already shown a reluctance to open source any of it’s database technology, but rather, just offer a free, limited capability, version.

What if a big IT vendor or an Asian outsourcing vendor were to throw its weight behind an open source ERP & CRM project? It’s only a matter of time.