Numbers show change for HP
3000 pioneers launch volley of stories

SAP on the block?

The website ERP Software has filed two rumor reports over the past week which mention SAP as a takeover target. It's worth tracking for 3000 sites making the lengthy move to the massive ERP suite. We've heard stories of failed SAP projects for 3000 owners. There's always a fall-back position in the event of such a failure: keeping the HP 3000 ERP running.

A change of ownership could be a factor in redoubling any SAP efforts, especially considering the latest rumored suitor: Microsoft.

Unlike Oracle (which was mentioned in an August rumor), the Master of Windows has the financial muscle to embrace the leading ERP suite. SAP uses Windows 2008 Server today, but Microsoft doesn't have an enterprise-class ERP solution to call its own. Even if a more integrated Windows version of SAP is four years away, that timing would mesh with 3000 site plans which don't even have a start date until 2011. We have a confirmed report from an advisor to a big aircraft maker about one of those "SAP eventually" plans to replace 3000 apps.

Almost one year ago, HP surfaced as a potential buyer of SAP, but these rumor stories seem to accomplish little but underscore the value of SAP's customer base and solution. Rather than buy the most costly solution for ERP, HP reached much deeper into its pockets to acquire EDS this summer.

SAP has not been acquired in the more than 20 years of its existence, built up from a German application moved to the rest of the world's manufacturing concerns. Microsoft has put itself into the running with purchases of Great Plains, Real World, Solomon, FRX, Navision and Damgaard/Axapta, according to the ERP Graveyard Scorecard.

The scorecard lists SAP as one of the Twin Titans, along with Oracle in the ERP world. Microsoft, as usual, makes its own category in the scorecard, heading up "SMB and Below."