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Wednesday's Fiserv year-end financials release shows growth to over $3 billion, depending on what I back out of the total as not really IT revenue. Pending a review, this might change the IT Investment Research index but not necessarily the finding that 2006 grew more slowly than 2005 (see January 31 entry).

From an IT Investment Research perspective, this announcement highlights the importance of industry specific applications provision in the market in the same way as Charles Phillips discussion of the subject this week at Oracle's applications customer event. Despite all the hype, both Oracle and SAP dedicate to their support for the financial services industry, application suppliers FiServ and Misys are probably still much more important factors in the financial-services IT market.

Similarly the HBOC-heritage application products marketed from within McKesson and the former SMS services available from Siemens are still key in healthcare delivery. Pick other services industries and you find this same phenomenon of long-time leaders that provide the same sort of "enterprise resource planning" to their customers as SAP and Oracle/JDE applications provide to manufacturers. The same used to be true of retail but JDA is the last of a breed of good-sized industry-focused applications suppliers in that space; very niche-oriented retail application suppliers such as NSB/STS (apparel), Escalate/GERS/ecommetry (hard goods), and TCI/Retailix (grocery) soldier on but SAP and Oracle have taken dead aim on these retail segments because they are simply the end of the product supply chain in which Oracle and SAP products excel.

Source: Fiserv, Oracle, SAP and Financial Services IT