Oracle’s efforts at risk from giants

Oracle has been praised by analysts for its efforts to target the lucrative mid-market with a range of financial software applications.

Leading industry analysts AMR Research has said that the business software giant had been ‘quietly expanding’ its range of products for small and medium-sized businesses, a strategy that has been boosted by its acquisition of both PeopleSoft’s and JD Edwards’ product lines.

And, despite its own suggestions to the contrary, Oracle will sell PeopleSoft and JD Edwards financial software through reseller channels to new customers. Oracle had previously said it would only sell its acquisitions’ products to existing customers.

Oracle has chosen to split the market into three: a lower tier of companies earning less than $100m (£54m) in annual revenue; a middle rank earning from $100m to $500m; and an upper tier for those earning more than $500m.

Analyst Judy Sweeney said it made good sense to use PeopleSoft’s EnterpriseOne product for the low and mid-tiers of potential clients, as it was a ‘very good product with an excellent reputation’ with good resellers.

However, Sweeney warned that, with its now vast range of software, Oracle would struggle to sell, support and position overlapping products, especially as the company is more used to direct selling a single product line.

It is possible, according to an AMR briefing, but it pointed to SAP and Microsoft ‘significantly outspending’ Oracle on product marketing.

Meanwhile SAP has launched more than 100 new industry-specific applications to provide better data analysis to business. The business intelligence software will be able to pool information from both SAP and non-SAP products within a company’s systems.

‘Being able to analyse processes crossing multiple domains and using the same definitions and the same integrated set of data will be the next competitive difference,’ said Frank Buytendijk, research VP at Gartner.

SAP has also joined forces with Microsoft in a project codenamed Mendocino, to make its business applications work better through Microsoft Office.

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