Whos Winning the Retail

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-07-06 Print this article Print

Race?"> Other analysts said that the retail sector is not looking for an end-to-end solution at all, and that, in fact, the industry is quite happy with point solutions, particularly given the myriad databases and other legacy applications into which theyve poured money over the past two decades. If a company has already settled on Oracle, then jumping into a full Oracle suite wont be a big deal. If not, then all bets are off, and those who watch this space are waiting to see how retail will shake out after the Oracle and SAP AG acquisitions.
SAP and Oracle, of course, want the market to believe that an end-to-end solution is the only solution when it comes to parsing the voluminous amount of data that retail collects and with which it does so little. Both are sprinting to the finish line to be the first to deliver the goods.
Whos ahead? As it now stands, some analysts see SAP as having better integration, but not necessarily all the applications needed, such as the price-optimization piece Oracle snapped up in ProfitLogic. Retek/Oracle is now in the lead with breadth of footprint, but SAP is in the lead for integration and cohesiveness of offerings and has made some big retail customer wins of late, Rosenblum said. However, the majority of retailers—particularly large ones—simply dont run on one package, and its unclear that theyll ever choose to do so. Other analysts say it doesnt matter whos "ahead" at this point, since its basically spring training for these software giants, both being relatively new to the sector. What matters, they say, is whos ahead in two years or so. Still, one saving grace for Oracle could well be the fact that practically all of ProfitLogics customers run on Oracle databases. ProfitLogic President Scott Friend referred to 90 percent overlap in a conference call on Tuesday, according to those who attended the call. Jerry Sheldon, vice president of technology for IHL Consulting Group Inc., said his companys data on ProfitLogic backs up this assessment, meaning that theres already been a good deal of work done on the two technologies. "Its a good fit; theyve done a lot of integration with Oracle databases," he said. Oracle will encourage customers to move to an integrated platform after they get one up and running. The takeaway, according to AMRs report, is to look for a clear support and migration plan for all current and prospective ProfitLogic customers—a plan that has been made more complicated now that it must incorporate Retek, ProfitLogic and Oracle technologies. "Retailers considering any of these should insist on reasonable software investment protection terms," the report said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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