9 May 2002 Software giant Oracle is challenging a report from Gartner Dataquest that suggests the database vendor has lost its top spot in the market to systems vendor IBM.
The report suggests that Oracle’s market share slipped last year to 32%, while IBM’s December 2000 acquisition of Informix had helped it boost its market share to 34.6%.
However, Oracle has questioned the quality of data supplied to Gartner by its two main competitors. It has challenged IBM and Microsoft to publish the data provided to Gartner so that “a more meaningful comparison can be made”.
“Until our major database competitors, IBM and Microsoft, provide audited database financial numbers, the data that makes up these analyst reports is suspect,” said Oracle chief financial officer Jeff Henley in a statement.
“Oracle is challenging assumptions that Oracle is losing market share to competitors given that a review of independent research and the activities of Oracle’s install base does not support this,” he added.
Henley also criticised Gartner for including legacy mainframe database installations in its market share figures. This boosts the apparent market share of IBM. “The significance should be placed on the modern database systems market, comprising Unix, Linux and Windows NT/2000,” said Henley.
However, Gartner defended its methodology. Analyst Betsy Burton said that it was the first time that any vendor had questioned its method and suggested that Oracle was feeling the pressure of intensified competition in the database market.