Page Two

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2003-06-30 Print this article Print

Aside from enforcing antitrust laws, states may also pursue a suit for reasons of self-interest. PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., boasts more than 350 customers in state, local and federal governments, including 15 states that have standardized on its applications.

California, Texas and Massachusetts, like Connecticut, have significant investments in PeopleSoft software. Massachusetts, for instance, runs PeopleSoft human resources modules across its executive branch offices, courts, and state and community colleges.

"The impact on state agencies will be a factor, but this is an antitrust case first and foremost," said Sarah Nathan, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts attorney generals office, in Boston.

Indiana is also a big PeopleSoft customer. Laura Larimer, CIO for the state of Indiana, forwarded information to her states attorney general on Connecticuts lawsuit against Oracle in hopes that he would consider the ramifications of Oracles actions.

"We are very, very reliant on [PeopleSoft] and their HR and procurement [software]," said Larimer, in Indianapolis. "I find it unimaginable that this would ever become an approved merger. My concern is how this is distracting both companies from enhancing their products and helping customers."

"The [PeopleSoft] financials are crucial to our business," said Bill Monroe, chief of operations at the Texas Educational System, in Austin. "Weve been able to survive and flourish by using [PeopleSofts applications]."

Monroe said that at the appropriate time he will provide his input to the Texas attorney general. In the meantime, his department is discussing its next steps.

"If this thing happens, maybe we would just run PeopleSoft on our own," said Monroe. "This is one of the few vendors where if you sign, you get the code."

Monroes prime objection to Oracle is the cost of its database. TES runs its software on IBM and Microsoft Corp. databases.

"We see only the potential downside of significant cost [to switch vendors]," said Monroe. "If there is some upside for us, I cant find it."


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