When one software vendor announces that it has converted users from another software vendor—proclamations common among rivals—the question inevitably comes to mind: Is that actual conversions where an IT department decides to rip and replace one system for another, or is that sales wins?

In SAP AG’s case, it’s the former, officials said.

The company announced March 20 that more than 200 companies have utilized its Safe Passage program to migrate off of rival Oracle’s business applications to SAP’s applications.

“These are conversions,” said Bill Wohl, vice president of Communications at SAP.

“We do not use Safe Passage to describe wins over Oracle. Oracle tries to do this with their program.”

The bottom line, according to Wohl: Safe Passage customers drop their Oracle applications—which could include PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, Siebel Systems and Retek applications—and replace them with SAP applications.

“Here’s an interesting fact: At the rate of approximately 200 in the 14 month period, that is about one customer every 48 hours,” said Wohl.

Oracle, however, is not standing by idly. It has its own program designed to woo customers away from SAP, dubbed Off SAP, which offers up to a 100 percent credit for SAP R/3 users.

In July of last year, Oracle said that more than 230 companies had registered with the Oracle Off SAP program—many which had expressed interest in migrating.

Current numbers were not available from Oracle at press time.

The heavily incentived migration programs (SAP offers a 75 percent license credit for Oracle customers) are part of the ongoing dog fight between SAP and Oracle that began in earnest in 2004, when Oracle set out to acquire PeopleSoft and leapfrog into the number two business applications provider spot, trailing behind SAP.

After 18 months of battling everyone from PeopleSoft executives and the Department of Justice, Oracle did prevail in acquiring PeopleSoft in January 2005 and J.D. Edwards as well.

It’s since acquired Siebel, Retek and about a dozen other software companies—fast closing the gap on SAP in the Enterprise Resource Planning market.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: SAP Announces 200 Customer Migrations as Part of Safe Passage Program