2007: The Year of ERP Spend Management?

Despite the noise that best of breed vendors have been making in the sector of late, the ERP players (SAP and Oracle, primarily) have been relatively quiet in recent months. Oracle, especially, has kept surprisingly out of the limelight. Given Larry's historical focus on rhetoric over product -- at least in the formative stages of targeting a sector -- this surprises me quite a bit, especially considering SAP's surprise Frictionless acquisition earlier in 2006 which should have stoked their competitive juices.

On the SAP side of the house, after numerous channel checks, I can conclude at this point that the deal is paying dividends for the German giant (shame on Oracle for not doing a similar deal). But my big question for 2007 will be whether SAP and Oracle -- among others, such as Infor -- choose to innovative to try to catch the leading best of breed players in their quest to build the "80% solution" that placates enough of the market. Maybe some of this ERP innovation will be organic. But I suspect most of it will not. Incidentally, the rumored CDC acquisition of Verticalnet last year never panned out. Perhaps Oracle or Infor will now pick up this hidden product / IP gem.

Jason Busch

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