ERP users to lose out in mergers

The main losers of the proposed consolidation of the enterprise software market will be users, IT user organisations and analysts...

The main losers of the proposed consolidation of the enterprise software market will be users, IT user organisations and analysts warned this week.

The enterprise resource planning market has been turned upside down, starting with the proposed $1.7bn (£1bn) acquisition of JD Edwards by PeopleSoft, which was followed days later by Oracle's $5.1bn counter-offer for PeopleSoft.

David Roberts, chairman of Tif, urged ERP users to contact suppliers and ask how plans for upgrades might be affected.

Jenny Sener, IT director at facilities management company OCS, said the ERP market instability was a serious concern given that ERP software supports business processes.

"Consolidation in any market leads to a disruptive pattern of behaviour among suppliers. They tend to put in a less than optimal performance as key accounts and technical staff are moved and the customer will pay the price."

Betsy Burton, vice-president of research at analyst firm Gartner, said, "We are advising users to hold off deployment in the short term unless the delay would have a negative business impact."

She advised users to choose an ERP supplier based on their long-term vision, rather than newly acquired functionality.

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