WSJ.com - Software Titans' Rivalry Fuels A Bidding War: "The fight for Retek, of Minneapolis, is the latest showdown between SAP, the world's largest maker of business-application software, and No. 2 Oracle. The rivalry has intensified in the months following Oracle's $10.3 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft Inc., a transaction that doubled its share in a market where SAP used to face little competition.
Shortly after the PeopleSoft acquisition closed in January, Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison declared a 'technology war' against SAP in a presentation to analysts. And in an interview a few days later, Oracle President Charles Phillips boasted that his company soon would be 'seeing the whites of' SAP's eyes.
Told of the comments, SAP's chief of sales, Leo Apotheker, shot back, 'Make my day.'
Behind the trash talk is a multibillion-dollar race to be the dominant supplier of the next generation of business software. SAP has had a slight headstart, having launched its development effort earlier. Its next-generation software will build on its current product, known as NetWeaver. Oracle executives deride NetWeaver as 'NetDeceiver,' calling the product just a new label slapped on old software. SAP executives, for their part, mock Oracle's own plan, Project Fusion, as 'Project Confusion.'"