FORTUNE In business, revenge is often swift. Take the sudden firing of a poorly performing CEO, for instance. In the case of Workday, its been more of a slow-burn.
The larger companies are doing their best to catch up, which includes heavy acquisitions. Last December, SAP announced it would spend $3.4 billion on the human capital management software company SuccessFactors. Meanwhile, Oracle bought Taleo, which develops employee recruitment software, for $1.9 billion. Both were bought with the intent of filling in service areas, covered in part by Workday, that were previously lacking. Analysts Fortune spoke to view such moves as defensive maneuvers. That validates Bhusri and Duffields model.Theyll play a good game, they know what it takes now, and theyve certainly been there and done that, says Steve Tennant, an ex-PeopleSoft executive. So I wouldnt bet against them.