With all eyes riveted on Oracle's ( ORCL) hostile bid to take over PeopleSoft ( PSFT), Germany's SAP ( SAP), a far less flamboyant company headed by a far less flamboyant CEO, is increasingly positioned to be the real winner. "SAP is sitting in the catbird seat," said Betsy Burton, an analyst with the influential Gartner research group. "They are sitting outside the fray and customers are going to view them as a safe choice," she said. Indeed, Wall Street is already casting that vote. Since Oracle announced its intention Friday morning to buy PeopleSoft for $5.1 billion, or $16 a share, SAP shares have appreciated by 11%, closing Tuesday at $32.73. Earlier Tuesday, SAP announced that it already has begun approaching customers of PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards ( JDEC), urging them to defect. Although SAP, the world's largest supplier of enterprise application software, didn't supply details, a spokesman told reporters in Europe that financial incentives would be on the table. It's certainly worth a try. In the last few quarters, SAP has lost a number of major deals in head-to-head competition with both PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, said analyst Jamie Friedman of Fulcrum Partners, who raised his target price to $35 on Tuesday. Customers that got away, he said, included DaimlerChrysler ( DCX), Rand Refinery and Pharma Resources ( PRX). With the future of both software rivals in doubt, SAP is well-positioned to take deals from them next time, he said. (Fulcrum does not have a banking relationship with SAP.) Even Siebel Systems ( SEBL) CEO Thomas Siebel, who is not given to saying nice things about the competition, said "this (the merger bid) will certainly have a deleterious affect on PeopleSoft ... the companies that gain will be Siebel Systems (which he heads) and SAP." SAP is aided in no small measure by what industry veterans call the FUD factor -- that is the fear, uncertainty and doubt spread by the Oracle bid, and to a lesser extent by PeopleSoft's earlier (friendly) announced effort to acquire rival software maker J.D. Edwards.