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SAP tries new lure for ex-PeopleSoft clients

Company expands its program to woo former PeopleSoft customers away from Oracle, as the two business software titans duke it out.

SAP has expanded its program to lure former PeopleSoft customers away from Oracle, as the two enterprise software giants duke it out for dominance in the United States.

Under its Safe Passage Program, SAP said it is reducing maintenance costs for any Oracle customer in the United States using J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft applications. Previously, the program was aimed only at PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers that were also using SAP software.

The battle between SAP and Oracle has reached a fevered pitch this year, following Oracle's $10.3 billion takeover of PeopleSoft in January. The takeover moved Oracle to the No. 2 global market position in business applications from its previous position as No. 3. SAP remains the market leader.

"PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers are facing the planned obsolescence of their software investment, and this is a major point of concern for companies that have already been forced to weather the takeover storm by Oracle," Bill McDermott, chief executive of SAP America, said in a statement.

Last month, SAP lost out in the bidding war for retail software maker Retek, when Oracle upped its offer price. It has yet to be seen whether SAP will launch a similar campaign for Retek customers.

Oracle was not immediately available for comment.