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SAP aims 'Safe Passage' at SMBs

SAP is widening its Safe Passage program to include small and midsized businesses running PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards software.

SAP is extending its Safe Passage program for a third time this year, reaching out to small and mid sized businesses (SMBs) by making the program available to its network of channel partners that sell its mySAP All-in-One software.

The rebate program is open to SMBs running PeopleSoft or J.D. Edwards software. The program provides a conversion credit of up to 75% of the original PeopleSoft or J.D. Edwards software licensing fees to be used toward the licensing of mySAP All-in-One software, SAP said.

Support and maintenance would be provided by individual channel partners, according to SAP.

For more information

Read about the initial Safe Passage offering 


See how Samsonite switched from Oracle to SAP

The All-in-One suite is a trimmed down version of SAP's core ERP suite. Companies choosing All-in-One can extend the suite, adding customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and other modules.

SAP's Safe Passage program was launched in January for PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers whose technology was purchased by Oracle Corp. after its drawn out battle to acquire PeopleSoft.

Today's announcement from SAP comes on the heels of solid financial gains from Oracle. Oracle today said its fourth quarter earnings rose 3.2%, bolstered by its recent acquisitions. Sales of applications such as payroll and human resources software exceeded financial analysts' expectations, and the biggest gains came in North America.

Still, SAP has been making inroads against rival Oracle with its two software suites catered for the midmarket. SAP also has been carefully treading water with Microsoft, which it considers a partner, as it continues to pick up share of SMBs with its mySAP Business One and All-in-One software suites.

Last month, SAP extended its Safe Passage program to retailers running Retek, J.D. Edwards or PeopleSoft software, in an effort to lure them away from Oracle. Oracle announced its own rebate program called "Off SAP," which offers similar incentives to enterprises considering a switch from SAP to Oracle.

Switching costs too high

While both programs offer licensing incentives, the costs associated with switching entire ERP systems over to another vendor can be extremely high, according to analysts. The programs could be used to help companies negotiate better deals with SAP or Oracle, said Paul Hamerman, vice president of enterprise applications at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.

"I don't expect to see much coming out of these programs," Hamerman said. "Migration is not something done overnight."

Despite the high switching costs, SAP highlighted its latest customer win, luggage manufacturer Samsonite, which is migrating off its J.D. Edwards software under the program.

The company is implementing SAP across its manufacturing and financial systems. The software will manage the company's global sourcing, distribution, transportation/logistics, product innovation, inventory visibility, financial transparency and compliance processes.

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