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Oracle Paints SAP As An Imminent Threat

Oracle lawyers spent Wednesday trying to show the court that Oracle's archrival, SAP, is one lunge away from eating Oracle's lunch. The PeopleSoft buyout is nothing less than a desperate attempt to stay ahead of SAP, they said.

In questioning Christy Bass, Accenture's managing partner of global business solutions, Oracle attorney Gregory Lindstrom said SAP threatens Oracle today and eventually will challenge Microsoft's survival. SAP has partnered with Accenture to develop high-end financial software aimed at the top global banks. Bass says SAP intends to win as customers the top 20 banks in the U.S. over the next 24 months.

She testified that the industry will see a market convergence in the ERP-software market where new competitors, including Microsoft, will play. "It's just a matter of time that Microsoft will compete in SAP's space," Bass said. "They intend to be an ERP-like supplier to the mid-market." The implication, of course, is that Oracle must do all it can to stay competitive against new and old competitors, including acquiring PeopleSoft.

She testified that SAP has the best chance for success in this market due to its size, cash on hand, global presence, and tight alliance with Microsoft and IBM.

Another witness said Oracle would leverage its purchase of PeopleSoft to move PeopleSoft customers onto its database software.

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