?"> In contrast, the DOJ will argue that, given a successful Oracle-PeopleSoft merger, the market for what its calling "high-function" software will shrink from three players down to twoSAP being the third leg in the stool. In the SIIAs view of the market, customers rule. They "control virtually all of the information" about which software price produces ROI (return on investment), what sellers theyre bargaining with, what features they really need, and the importance of performance and architectural metrics. These savvy customers call the shots to get the best deals they can, meaning that price discrimination and coordination is "difficult, if not impossible, and is a critical weakness of the DOJ analysis," the report states.The SIIA also cites outsourcing as posing a competitive challenge to packaged software vendors, as players such as Automatic Data Processing Inc., FMR Corp.s Fidelity Investments, Hewitt Associates LLCs eCyborg and Ceridian Corp. trounce the likes of Oracle in bidding to provide HRM via services suites. The DOJ is also underestimating Microsofts current and future weight in the market, according to the SIIA. The company in recent years has purchased enterprise applications companies Great Plains and Navision and has pledged that it will spend $10 billion on enterprise applications over the next five years. Microsoft also has large HRM and FMS customers, including National Truck Leasing System, a $4 billion company, and Sunoco Inc.s Sunoco Products, a $2.6 billion company. The SIIA is also unhappy with the terminology employed by the DOJ. The Justice Department has been using terms such as "enterprise customer" without fully defining what such a thing might be. The agency has also been referring to "high-function" softwaremetrics of which the SIIA is "unaware," according to the report. PeopleSoft is not a member of the SIIA. The SIIAs report goes to pains to stress the nonpartisan nature of its report by averring that it has in the past advocated antitrust enforcement even when such advocacy would negatively impact members. But the report fails to detail such cases, and calls on the subject had not been returned by the time this story went to press. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at http://database.eweek.com for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
Other factors being ignored by the DOJ, according to the SIIA, include systems integrators that have a vested interest in keeping software costs low so that their contract prices can stay competitive.