Phillips said the confusion about these apparently contradictory statements hinges on the phrase "actively selling." "Most software companies lose money selling new licenses," he said. "They make money on support and maintenance. If you look at PeopleSofts numbers for the first quarter, they had $81 million in licensing revenues, $21 million for sales and marketing. Thats not unusual. The expensive part of the business is trying to chase new customers. Servicing existing customers is where the profits are. Given where we are at this stage of maturity, there are few new customers [in the enterprise resource planning market]. "It appears that Larry Ellisons original comments may conflict [with later Oracle announcements regarding continued product sales]. Its about the focus on actively selling. It doesnt mean that were not supporting or enhancing [PeopleSoft products]," he said. "Existing customers shouldnt be concerned whether were losing money trying to land new customers. Theyll get more out of it because well focus on them."Other customer concerns involved continued development effort on the next iteration of PeopleSoft, which would be called PeopleSoft 9 if no Oracle takeover were to take place. Phillips vowed to continue work on enhancements as required by customers but said that the next iteration could be called something other than Version 9. When asked how well Oracle could support customers running PeopleSoft applications on non-Oracle databases such as IBMs DB2 or Informix, Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server, or Sybase Inc.s ASE, Phillips replied that Oracle is already involved in multivendor support environments every day. "We support virtually every application thats out there," he said. "Most of our customers run SAP, PeopleSoft, whatever. We have one of the largest support organizations in the world, and well also acquire PeopleSofts support organization as well."
Phillips also assured listeners that should PeopleSofts intended purchase of J.D. Edwards successfully close at midnight on Thursday, J.D. Edwards customers would be treated in the same manner as PeopleSoft customers.