While he may never admit it, Ellison could be kicking himself these days. "Workday would not exist if Larry Ellison had not bought PeopleSoft," Scavo says. That move did two things, namely give Workday's co-founder, former PeopleSoft CEO Dave Duffield, "a ton of money and a clean sheet of paper," Scavo adds. "Now the main threat to Larry Ellison's PeopleSoft franchise is Workday."
It remains to be seen whether Salesforce.com will make a big leap into ERP itself. While Salesforce.com recently introduced an employee performance management application called Work.com, the company has left more central ERP functionality up to partners such as Workday.
Salesforce.com has also made an investment in Infor, which is mostly known for its on-premises ERP software but has been moving quickly to the cloud.
At roughly $3 billion in revenue, Infor is the industry's largest ERP vendor after SAP and Oracle. While there's no indication Salesforce.com wants to turn its investment into a full-blown purchase of Infor, such a development would create a third ERP mega-vendor as well as blur the lines between the new and old guard.