Oracle, SAP feud for clients

With its recent offer of support at half the price quoted by Oracle, SAP is continuing to go hard after former PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers.

The customers came to Oracle when the software giant acquired PeopleSoft, which had previously acquired JD Edwards. Competitor SAP launched its SafePassage program in January, offering incentives for customers to move to SAP. Oracle responded with its own program, OFF SAP, designed to poach SAP customers.

Firing the latest salvo in the battle in late June, SAP expanded SafePassage by offering half-price support to PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers. SAP had previously acquired TomorrowNow, a U.S.-based consulting company that provided PeopleSoft and JD Edwards support.

Jeff Watts, senior vice-president, channel marketing with SAP Canada in Toronto, said SafePassage has had good uptake, but they also heard customers don’t want to be rushed into an ERP migration until they’re ready. “Unlike others, we’re not forcing them to migrate on our schedule to some new, unproven release that’s out there in the future,” said Watts. “We think taking that risk and uncertainty away for customers is very important.”

SAP has said it can cut Oracle’s support costs in half because half the cost of any support cost goes to new product development, and since no new PeopleSoft and JD Edwards products will be developed, their users should get a break.

“Obviously, we want them as SAP customers, but the timing associated with that needs to be their own,” said Watts.

In sounds like a good offer, but Oracle warns you get what you pay for. David Rumer, Oracle Canada’s senior director of marketing, said Oracle has committed to supporting PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers until 2013, including product upgrades. And he said while SAP has TomorrowNow’s 40 support staff, Oracle has 1,000 support people dedicated to PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers.

“It’s really an apples-to-pears comparison,” said Rumer. “You’ve got to look at the value you’re getting versus a third-party organization with literally 40 people. It’s kind of a part-time thing for them. The real value is very clear to our customers.”

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