In a clear indication that new deals in large companies are getting harder to come by, all three of the major enterprise system vendors--SAP, Oracle, and PeopleSoft--now have special programs for small businesses.
Oracle is the latest vendor to announce such an offering. The new offering, called Oracle E-Business Suite Special Edition, provides functionality for financials, purchasing, inventory management, order management, discrete manufacturing, sales, and business intelligence, bundled with a special deal for Oracle's database.
It sounds like a good deal. According to CNET,
Under the new program, Oracle introduced a reduced entry-level price for its database software. The new pricing is $149 per user, or $49.95 per central processing unit, for a maximum to two processors. The price of the E-business Suite Standard Edition is approximately $2,000 per user, according to an Oracle representative.
Oracle has also set up a team of partners to market the suite, including Abaris, Baytree Associates, Core Services, Favored Tack, Lucidity Consulting Group, Oto Global Solutions, Vertex Systems and Whitbread Technology Partners.
Licenses are available for a minimum of 10 users and a maximum of 50 users, Oracle said. Its partners, which will implement, host and support the new package, will decide on the pricing.
The other Tier I vendors, SAP and PeopleSoft, have small company offerings similar to Oracle's, but Oracle is the only one to offer essentially the same product to large and small customers. SAP's small business offering is its SAP Business One product, which is a totally different code base from SAP's flagship offering, MySAP.
Similarly, PeopleSoft's approach to small companies is to position its older JDE World product, which runs on the IBM iSeries (formerly AS/400) hardware platform. The product is bundled with hardware and services as an offering dubbed World Express, and it is being offered exclusively through IBM resellers.
But in the small company marketplace, SAP, Oracle, and PeopleSoft will probably find that their greatest competition is not from each other, but from Microsoft. Microsoft's strategy for enterprise applications is to dominate the small company market, and it is not going to sit by while the big three attempt to gain a foothold.
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PeopleSoft breathes new life into JDE World product
SAP plugs hole in Business One
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SAP aims to cover all market tiers