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Oracle speeds up retail race

The battle in the online retail market has corporate computing giants Oracle, SAP, and PeopleSoft fighting for a piece of the $3 billion industry.

    Forget Wal-Mart v. Kmart, the real battle in the retail market is taking place in merchandisers' back offices as corporate computing giants Oracle, SAP, and PeopleSoft fight for a piece of the $3 billion industry.

    Oracle announced today that it has completed integrating its financial management software with Richter Systems' merchandise management software.

    The partnership is similar to one which PeopleSoft, an Oracle rival, had with Intrepid Systems. PeopleSoft recently bought Intrepid to bolster its retail offering.

    SAP is also pushing for retailers' business with an industry specific version of its popular R/3 enterprise resource planning software system. At its recent user group conference in Madrid, Spain, SAP unveiled a new procurement system, an application designed to extend R/3 functions to retail store employees.

    For its part, Oracle has integrated its financial management software with an inventory management system from Richter. Richter builds software specifically for the retail industry. The system is meant to allow retailers to handle such tasks as invoice and purchase order matching between the financial applications in Oracle and Richter's merchandising software.

    Among the customers Oracle is already selling software to are: 7-Eleven, Burlington Coat, 1-800-Flowers, Amazon.com, and Nike.