Instead of acquiring or developing its own ERP software, IBM has focused on partnerships with companies such as Lawson Software and SAP, with its hardware and infrastructure software serving as underpinnings for their applications.
IBM's relationship with SAP could experience some friction in coming years, given SAP's ongoing work to port its flagship Business Suite ERP software to the Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) database it acquired through the purchase of Sybase.
SAP is expected to push its many customers currently running Oracle's database to use Sybase ASE instead in order to save money, but it's unclear whether DB2 will be actively targeted as well.
IBM and SAP's relationship today is quite solid, Spang said, noting that SAP itself runs DB2 in support of its own operations.
An Oracle spokeswoman declined comment.
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