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Oracle trolls Infor by sending free Tesla taxis to rival’s software show

By Ben Ames | September 26, 2018 | 11:32 AM

Some good-natured heckling has broken out in the usually staid market for enterprise computing products. Tech firms usually ignore each other when their competitors hold conferences, even taking care to refer to other companies with a passing reference to their headquarters’ home state or to the color of their logo.

So New York-based business software vendor Infor expected the typical ground rules to hold when it opened the doors for its Inforum user conference in Washington, D.C. this week. However, rival enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human capital management (HCM) vendor Oracle Corp. had other ideas.

First, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle started poking at Infor with Twitter posts proclaiming “Don’t be misINFORmed about #retail.” The message included a link to a pointed Oracle blog post titled “Be Informed About Infor: 6 Reasons Yesterday’s ERP Can’t Deliver for Your Business.”

Next, Oracle marched right up to Infor’s doorstep by sending a fleet of bright red Tesla sedans to the taxi line outside the Inforum convention center. Offering free cab rides to pick up conventioneers exiting the show, Oracle had wrapped the trendy cars with the marketing message “MisINFORmed? Get the cloud facts. Oracle.com/realcloud."

Oracle even launched a social media campaign to promote the stunt, posting a tweet that read “#Inforum2018 attendees, the #OracleFreeRides Tesla X’s are all charged up and ready to take you to the Convention Center or wherever you need in DC. Tweet @OracleFreeRides to book a ride."

To be sure, Infor is not shy about seeking publicity—the company has inked endorsement deals this year with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, PGA’s Brooks Koepka, tennis player Jack Sock, Ferrari race cars, and Triumph motorcycles, Infor CEO Charles Phillips said in a keynote session at his show. So the marketing feud may benefit both sides. And in case the other ERP and HCM players are feeling left out, don’t worry… Oracle also sent its Teslas to Microsoft Corp.’s Ignite developers’ conference being held this week in Orlando.

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