Who Will Win? SAP or Oracle?
The interesting thing is that a lot of the "A" customers purchased their ERP systems pre-Y2K and around Y2K. The last big boom in ERP was I'd say 1998 through about 2001. Most people hold their software from seven to 10 years. So the next big boom is starting around 2007 or 2008. That is just when SAP has their next-generation products coming out, as well as Oracle with Fusion apps in 2008. That is where the next battle is going to be. Either SAP will dominate the market like an Intel-AMD relationship where they own 80% of the market, or Oracle has the opportunity to catch up. Right now it's very unclear as to who is winning because everybody says that they're succeeding in selling middleware. But as they start to sell more of these middleware components, as they start to go deeper into the stack, that means that customers will actually be betting ultimately on Oracle or SAP in their apps strategy. This is why Fusion middleware and SAP NetWeaver sales are going to be a great predictor of future activity on the applications side.