SAP responds to Oracle bid for Retek

SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said SAP must wait for Retek to respond to Oracle's offer. SAP issued a statement Wednesday emphasizing its commitment to the retail market.

SAP issued a statement Wednesday in response to Oracle's bid for retail software vendor, Retek, calling itself in a better position to offer easier integration with third party applications.

In a statement released Wednesday, SAP said it offers superior interoperability with both Microsoft's .NET and the Java programming environments through its NetWeaver integration and development platform.

Responding to reporters questions at a press conference held this morning at CeBIT, technology conference in Hanover, Germany, SAP Chief Executive Henning Kagermann said SAP can't act on Oracle's bid until Retek officially responds to Oracle's offer and contacts SAP. The official process could take several business days.

"Retek now has to get in touch with us," Kagermann said.

There's a huge push now in the retail market for taking advantage of efficiencies that enterprise software can offer.
Joshua Greenbaum,
principal consultantEnterprise Applications Consulting

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle, offered $9 per share for Minneapolis-based Retek today. Oracle is hoping to persuade Retek to reconsider SAP's $496 million, or $8.50 per share, takeover agreement.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Tuesday that he had been in discussions with Retek executives to merge the two companies since October 2004. Oracle estimates that 80% of Retek's customers currently run Oracle's infrastructure software.

SAP said in response that its entire technology stack is better equipped to handle integration with other application software vendors and able to support more than just one database.

"SAP believes that integration at the applications level - rather than at the database level - is what will drive competitive advantage for companies looking to align their IT infrastructure in order to respond swiftly to changes in the fast-moving retail market," SAP said in a statement.

"Moreover, SAP is committed to openness to all databases in the market, not locking customers out of choices. SAP remains strongly committed to the retail industry."

Both SAP and Oracle see a boon in the retail software market, as retailers try to lower operational costs by investing in their IT infrastructure in recent years, said Joshua Greenbaum, principal consultant at Berkeley, Calif.-based Enterprise Applications Consulting.

"There's a huge push now in the retail market for taking advantage of efficiencies that enterprise software can offer," Greenbaum said. "This has been one of fastest growing sectors overall in high-tech spending for a while."


Story updated March 10, 2005.
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