Keeping Customers Close
But from SAPs perspective, one of the key advantages of owning a third-party PeopleSoft support service is that gives the company a chance to keep PeopleSoft customers from committing to the Project Fusion program. Better yet, it gives SAP a captive audience that that it can offer SAP applications to when the support periods for PeopleSoft and JDE applications run out.If it isnt broken, why replace it. Customers may want to keep these applications running well past the eight or 10 year time frames projected by Project Fusion or even TomorrowNow. To read more about the Oracle Fusion middleware strategy, click here. But there are going to be a lot of advances in software technology over the next 10 years. A lot of the future innovation is going to come in the areas of open-source and on-demand software applications. Its possible that PeopleSoft customers will decide that these newer models provide viable alternatives to both Oracles and SAPs ERP applications. Microsoft, Lawson software, and some of the other smaller ERP software companies will all try to win over PeopleSoft, SAP and Oracle customers, especially those which are looking for ERP software that is the best fit for midsized companies. In the meantime, the sniping and competitive maneuvering will continue between SAP and Oracle in theier struggle for the top of the market. The two companies have been noted for tit-for-tat press releases in which Oracle boasts of the success of a program to convert SAP customers to Oracle applications after SAP touts its own success in attracting PeopleSoft customers to its camp. This all means that customer still have as much leverage as they ever did in the ERP market. Smart companies will play off one company against the other to get the best possible deal. It also leaves open the possibility that customers will simply cry "a plague on both your houses" and go to a smaller, more nimble company that can undercut deals offered by these two lumbering software giants. 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.
Naturally the first choice of most of these customers would have been to keep working with PeopleSoft and keep these applications running indefinitely, as long as they are working productively and delivering value for the maintenance costs.