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SAP siphons Pepsi away from Oracle

The German software maker says it has lured the soft-drink giant by offering greater integration among business applications.

Enterprise software maker SAP said Wednesday that it has signed a major deal with beverage giant PepsiCo, which had been a premier customer of rival Oracle.

The German business applications specialist, the world's third-largest software company behind No. 2 Oracle, reported Wednesday that Pepsi will adopt its MySAP Business Suite in all of its divisions. One of the largest of those divisions, Pepsi North America, is still named on Oracle's Web site, on a list of top customers from several years ago.

Representatives from Oracle could not be reached for comment on the SAP announcement. The database company first announced Pepsi North America as a customer in 1997.

SAP said it will be responsible for installing the full range of the flagship MySAP product line at Pepsi, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management tools. SAP said the effort is aimed at unifying all the legacy software systems used in Pepsi's many divisions, including Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats and the Pepsi Bottling Group.

According to SAP, Pepsi attempted a similar strategy using Oracle's business applications but was unable to achieve sufficent levels of enterprise systems integration. SAP claims the simplicity of its applications as its greatest product characteristic and uses that attribute as its primary marketing tool. For the last year, the company has been stumping hard for its NetWeaver system, a set of programs meant to make its products work better with other software.

Oracle, which sits atop the lucrative database software market, has been working hard to increase its position against SAP in the enterprise applications sector. The company is currently waging a courtroom battle in an attempt to acquire PeopleSoft, another major provider of ERP and CRM software.

Pepsi joins several other consumer packaged goods companies that have inked deals with SAP, including Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clarke, Hershey and General Mills. SAP has publicized several other wins of former Oracle customers in the consumer space, including toy maker Lego and soap company Dial.