Market Consolidation Benefits Customers

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-04-28 Print this article Print

SAPs partnering agreements also indicate that, as the U.S. Department of Justice warned would happen, the post-PeopleSoft-acquisition market is, clearly, consolidating. "As weve seen Siebel slip and slide away, both in terms of earnings and compelling value of product, it really is becoming somewhat of a two-horse race," said William Hurley, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "To my mind, it underwrites the concerns the DOJ had about consolidation in the industry. Were really talking about heavyweights, really the only ones who have the gravity to unlock customers from these complex and critical enterprise applications."
Siebel reveals the details of its disappointing first quarter. Click here to read more.
But is consolidation such a bad thing? If the news from Sapphire is any indication, the answer is no. "[The DOJ] didnt have a clue what they were up to," Greenbaum said. "The entire process showed they were just missing the whole boat. What were seeing now is the result of healthy competition. … A duopoly is more beneficial to customers than a broader, more messy competitive environment can be. Look at Boeing and Airbus, theyve been after each other for years. These two companies compete bitterly and innovate like crazy," Greenbaum said. "Were seeing this duopoly effect as being very beneficial to customers," he said. "Everything in these announcements from SAP on one hand takes a swing at Oracle but more directly benefits joint customers in a very direct way." Click here to read Lisa Vaas commentary on a rumored merger between Oracle and SAP. Mike Zeleniak, information systems manager at the mining company Teck Cominco Ltd., agrees. His Toronto-based company uses SAP marketing and sales applications that used to run on Oracles 8.0.6 database. Back in October, Teck put out an RFP (request for proposal) with an eye toward migrating off old Alpha servers. Zeleniak said maintenance costs for hardware, software and licensing were also up on the cutting board. IBM put together a package that chopped tens of thousands of dollars off annual costs for Teck Cominco, just on maintenance. Oracle wasnt interested in repackaging or renegotiating, Zeleniak said, and as a result, he switched to DB2 8.01. Performance is "way up," he said, with monthly reports that once took 6 hours now running at 20 minutes. Hes not even running the SAP-optimized DB2, which is Version 8.2.2, but that ones looking pretty good, too. Zeleniak said, "The fact that it self-tunes and looks after some of the mundane things a DBA [database administrator] would have to do, thats great. "Being a small shop, we only have [five] people here who support SAP. If we have a person who doesnt have to worry about the health of the system and who can manage the health of the system and other business-related things, thats good." Next Page: Oracle may lose customers to SAP.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for 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, 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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