Just days after SAP raised its bid for Retek, Oracle countered and increased its competing offer.
We'll just sit back and see how this thing works out. But it's fun to just watch how the two leading enterprise software companies are battling over Retek, a maker of enterprise software for the retail market.
Oracle is being its usual flexible and responsive self, while SAP appears to be clueless about how it is going to respond to Oracle's bullying. Earlier this month at Cebit SAP CEO Henning Kagermann had an ideal opportunity to tell the world how he plans to win the bidding war against Oracle. Instead he stood quietly behind his podium and avoided all questions on the subject.
The difference between the two companies is one between night and day.
Oracle is the more aggressive one, running around its victim and placing a few well-aimed blows. Although this strategy might lead to disappoints because the company over-promises and under-delivers (which is another thing that Oracle is known for), it can also pay off big time as the company proved in the takeover battle over Peoplesoft.
SAP on the other hand revels in its suit and tie. Like a child heading for the sand box on a Sunday all dressed up before going to church, it is moving carefully and cautiously in the world business arena. Strategies are there to be executed and deviations from the preset course have to be plotted and approved by many management layers. Much like its enterprise software, it takes forever to get a project implemented, but at least it works by then.
I'm not saying one company is better then the other. But I do know it's much more fun to watch Oracle than it is to watch SAP.
The necessary background:
Retek develops enterprise software including ERP and SCM for retail stores. The company agreed to a takeover bid by SAP of Germany. Oracle responded by acquiring a 10 percent stake in Reket and launched a counter offer that was slightly higher than SAP's.
UPDATE 3/21/05 9:56 PM:
In a press release Oracle claims that SAP has dropped its offer for Retek and that Oracle and Retek have signed a takeover agreement. There nothing up on Retek's website however. Again Oracle wins by putting up a big mouth.
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