New Delhi: The ex-CTO of SAP and former CEO of Infosys Vishal Sikka on Friday replied to allegations levelled by Teradata . Sikka has steadfastly denied the charges of copyright violations and IP theft charges, adding that Teradata’s claims were “baseless and outrageous”. Sikka the brain behind SAP’s HANA engine, said that HANA was developed with “highest integrity”.
ERP and system applications company, SAP, that finds itself in the midst of the alleged copyright violations said that it does not want to comment on litigation. Although, the company officials expressed surprise “to learn of the complaint filed by Teradata earlier today in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.” Officials added, “SAP may issue a statement, if appropriate, after it has had an opportunity to review the complaint”. Teradata filed a case against SAP in a US court in the Northern district of California.
The case also detailed the role of Vishal Sikka, an ex-CTO at SAP, who later created history as Infosys’ first non-founder CEO. Teradata has claimed that SAP breached a 2008 joint venture to gain access to its intellectual property and thereby created a software product that could compete against the original. On Wednesday, a complaint shared by Teradata read, “SAP has engaged in a decade-long campaign of anti-competitive behavior, to the detriment of the parties’ customers and Teradata alike.” The analytics company labelled SAP’s HANA as an “inferior product” in its lawsuit and also conceded that SAP lured Teradata into forming a joint venture.
The 36-page complaint filed by Teradata details the reasons for a lawsuit, and claims for awarding damages and a trial jury. “As set forth in the complaint, Teradata is alleging that SAP has engaged in a decade-long campaign of anti-competitive behavior, to the detriment of the parties’ customers and Teradata alike. SAP lured Teradata into a purported joint venture in order to gain access to Teradata’s valuable intellectual property.
SAP’s purpose for the joint venture was to steal Teradata’s trade secrets, developed over the course of four decades, and use them to quickly develop and introduce a competing though inferior product, SAP HANA. Upon release of SAP HANA, SAP promptly terminated the joint venture, and SAP is now attempting to coerce its customers into using HANA only, to the exclusion of Teradata,” reads the lawsuit.
Speaking about the role of Dr Vishal Sikka, the complaint, a copy of which is available on the website of Teradata revealed, “In the summer of 2009, just months after the Bridge Project formally began, SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner and then-CTO Dr Vishal Sikka announced their goal of revitalizing SAP’s lackluster and outdated product offerings by developing a new, faster database architecture.
Dr Sikka quickly restructured SAP’s engineering teams to develop and deploy SAP HANA in less than a year, an extremely short time frame for a project of such magnitude.” The complaint further narrates that SAP’s HANA was displayed at SAP’s SAPPHIRE conference in May 2011, a large congregation of IT executives organised annually by SAP. BW, another SAP product was termed as “ill-equipped to generate reports using data from any other source besides SAP’s ERP Applications.
Nonetheless, SAP HANA use eventually took off (aided by SAP’s anticompetitive conduct discussed below), with HANA revenue reaching $2 billion by 2016.” The complaint refers to Dr Sikka as being lauded in the industry as the “father” and “mastermind” of SAP HANA. He “was credited with reversing SAP’s stagnant product offerings.” Also read about the copyright violation case of Oracle against SAP in this story