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Samsonite to dump Oracle under SAP program

Luggage maker Samsonite Corp. is migrating off its J.D. Edwards software, choosing to implement the mySAP Business Suite across all its systems.

SAP is highlighting its latest customer win under its broadened Safe Passage program, which was launched to lure...

away newly acquired PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards Co. and Retek customers from Oracle onto SAP.

Luggage manufacturer Samsonite Corp. is migrating to mySAP Business Suite under the SAP program.

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Originally announced in April when SAP CEO Henning Kagermann highlighted Samsonite as SAP's latest customer win at the company's earnings announcement. Now finalized, Samsonite will begin moving off its current J.D. Edwards systems in January 2006.

The mySAP software will support all of Samsonite's locations, including its global headquarters in Denver.

The company is implementing SAP across its manufacturing and financial systems. The software will manage the company's global sourcing, distribution, transportation/logistics, product innovation, inventory visibility, financial transparency and compliance processes.

Samsonite is also buying SAP Apparel and Footwear software, a module that provides functionality to help manufacturers manage sizes, styles and colors inherent in the consumer packaged goods industry.

In a statement, Samsonite chief information officer Nick Macera said his company chose SAP for its industry focus and for the implementation services and incentives offered by the Safe Passage program.

"SAP … will enable us to integrate and globalize our retail and wholesale business, reduce our IT costs and deployment risk, and enhance our ability to compete in the global marketplace," Macera said.

SAP's Safe Passage program was launched in January for PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers.

Despite the latest customer win, analysts agree that the costs of switching over to SAP are still very high and labor intensive for most companies. Paul Hamerman, vice president of enterprise applications at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said SAP's program could be used as a bargaining chip for companies negotiating new licenses with Oracle Corp.

"Oracle has been quite clear that they will continue to support and enhance these products for a long period of time, so a vast majority will stay with Oracle," Hamerman said.

Last month, SAP extended its Safe Passage program to retailers running Retek, J.D. Edwards or PeopleSoft software, in an effort to lure them away from Oracle. Oracle is working to integrate the various technologies it acquired earlier this year from Retek and PeopleSoft, and SAP has been touting the uncertainty it said was created by the acquisitions.

The Safe Passage program provides software, support and incentives to migrate to SAP. It includes a credit of up to 75% of the original Retek software license fees against the licensing of software within the SAP for Retail industry package, which includes supply chain management, customer relationship management, product lifecycle management and supplier relationship management software.

SAP is also offering an on-site assessment to build a business case to migrate from Retek to SAP and an implementation road map to begin a migration project. It is also adding free project team training under the program.

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