Sunday, November 21, 2004

SAP increasing dominance in the enterprise software market

Reader Lewis Marchand wrote to me recently that, in the protracted battle between Oracle and PeopleSoft, the only winner is SAP.
SAP is clearly the only winner in the short term. While Oracle and PeopleSoft are distracted and confused, SAP is running around gathering up more clients.
Confirming Lewis's view, a Barrons cover story this weekend (subscription required) has some startling statistics on SAP's continued increase in market share.
Right now, the company's most impressive growth is coming from the U.S. As Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has carried out a protracted bid to acquire PeopleSoft...SAP steadily has raised its profile in the U.S. business market. It now accounts for 38% of its peer group's U.S. revenue, up from 32% just a year ago. And SAP has told analysts it expects its U.S. share to surpass 50% reasonably soon and then head toward the company's global share.
According to Barrons, SAP's global market share among the top five enterprise vendors is currently 54%, but it could reach 64% by the end of this year. The only other tech companies with that kind of market dominance are Microsoft and Cisco.

As a consultant to buyers of software, I don't especially like to see such market dominance by one player. I'd much rather see more competition. On the other hand, sometimes you have to deal with things they way they are, not the way you'd like them to be.

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