Oracle is likely to beat SAP and win the bidding war for enterprise retail applications firm Retek, Gartner has predicted.
The analyst firm warned that Retek customers should plan for a "very different technology migration scenario" in the wake of a successful Oracle takeover.
"Regardless of whether SAP or Oracle acquires Retek, its customers will be forced into a major upgrade akin to a new product installation," stated a newly released analysis by Gartner analysts Jeff Woods, Jeff Roster and Andrew White.
"It is just a matter of timing, and the vendor will only be able to provide some data migration tools."
The warning comes after the 8 March announcement by Oracle that it plans to make a $9 per share counter offer to SAP America's bid for Retek at $8.50 per share.
Gartner noted that, between that day and the previous day, Oracle had purchased nearly 10 per cent of Retek's outstanding shares, amounting to almost 5.5 million shares.
According to the Gartner analysis, Oracle retail customers should welcome this news because it offers the prospect of a single-vendor system for their retail applications.
"And this announcement is good news for Retek customers over the short term, because if SAP became the acquirer, Retek customers are likely to be forced to migrate quickly, while Oracle isn't likely to force customers to migrate until at least 2008," said the Gartner analysts.
"Despite this, over three to five years Retek customers would have been better served if SAP had won. This is because of Oracle's lack of success with vertical applications.
"Oracle needs Retek to become competitive in the retail market; no other target retail provider would help Oracle build commensurate credibility."
Gartner advises SAP customers formulating plans based on the assumption of a successful SAP bid to put these on hold until the situation is resolved.
The analyst strongly advises Retek customers to halt any project that involves deploying Retek functionality on non-Oracle technology stacks.
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