Oracle May Lose Customers

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

Zeleniak said he is also looking forward to the products that will result from the partnership between Microsoft and SAP. One product of that development partnership, due out in 2006 and code-named Mendocino, will offer his SAP users quite a different world from the spreadsheet and flat-file input theyre dealing with now. "Any way you can get information in and out of SAP in a user-friendly environment is good," he said. Given the efforts SAP and IBM are making to woo customers off of Oracle databases, and given SAPs strong presence in vertical industries, Oracle has a long way to go when it comes to retaining SAP users.
"I dont think anything else in the marketplace, in terms of functionality and ability, compares to SAP," Zeleniak said. Although the company runs JDE in its production plant, for example, the marketing and sales group decided not to deploy it after evaluating it as a potential solution for its sales requirements.
Zeleniak said, "I tell you, JDE was very painful as an installation: very limited functionality, limited flexibility. … SAP has targeted certain industries and modified their core enterprise system to work for those industries. "We have [SAPs mining software]. We are implementing it for some sales and marketing functionality. Because, well, nobody else can do the complex pricing and the invoicing thats required for a mining product called concentrate [preprocessed ore made into dirt that goes to a refinery which processes it into metal ore]. … These industry solutions are very, very important, and you know what? Oracle doesnt have them, PeopleSoft doesnt have them and JDE doesnt have them." Oracle did not respond to a request for comment by the time this article was posted. Editors Note: This story was updated to clarify comments by Mike Zeleniak regarding JDE usage, Mendocino and the number of personnel who support SAP applications. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

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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