These factors are also a reason why Retek finds that it has to look for a buyer rather than continue to develop its products as an independent company, Tohamy says. The company has been struggling financially, and it looks like it would be very difficult for the company to keep growing as an independent company, she notes.Furthermore, Retek is facing increasing competition in its market, Tohamy said, from the likes of JDA Software Group in the retail applications field and from companies selling best-of-breed retail analytics applications such as DemandTec. Its understandable that Oracle was likely surprised by the SAP bid for Retek because its had a lot on its hands with the protracted campaign to buy out and integrate PeopleSoft into its operations. Oracle claims that it has been talking to Retek about an acquisition since last September. Reteks board of directors has endorsed the latest SAP offer to its shareholders and seems less than eager to fall into Oracles hands, probably because Reteks managers see the prospect for greater autonomy at SAP than they could expect after being assimilated by the Redwood Shores Borg. But since Oracle still has more than $9 billion cash in its coffers, a Retek acquisition represents relatively small change for a company that spent $10 billion to buy PeopleSoft. To read more about why Aberdeen Group thinks Retek customers will be served best by an Oracle buyout, click here. Analysts at the Aberdeen Group have issued a report that customers would likely face the least disruption if Oracle wins its bid for Retek because there is little overlap between the two companies product lines and because Reteks products are already integrated with Oracles database technology. But even this argument may not be enough to persuade Retek to accept Oracles latest bid and forgo a time consuming proxy fight. eWEEK.com Enterprise Applications Center Editor John Pallatto is a veteran journalist in the field of enterprise software and Internet technology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.