But Oracle is fighting for survival, according to CEO Larry Ellison, who addressed the topic at Oracles AppsWorld user conference late last month. Ellison said he sees three main competitors in the enterprise resource planning sector going forward: SAP AG, Microsoft Corp. and Oracle. SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, is the No. 1 e-business applications provider, larger than a combined PeopleSoft and Oracle would be. Microsoft is widely seen as an increasing threat, although it currently offers enterprise applications only for small and midsize businesses."In essence, PeopleSoft will just disappear. Thats my feeling," said Gorman, a principal at SageLogix Inc., also in Denver. Although Gorman said he considers PeopleSofts technology more sophisticated than Oracles, he does not foresee any shift in direction by Oracle to accommodate components of PeopleSoft software. "Without its suite of applications, [Oracle] wouldve fallen by the wayside [like] Sybase [Inc.] and Informix [Software Inc.] have. Oracle as a company knows that the future lies with business solutions through its applications." Oracle has said it expects the Department of Justice to wrap up its antitrust investigation into the proposed acquisition by March 12. The DOJ, however, would not confirm that. The European Commission and more than half the U.S. states attorneys general are likewise in the midst of antitrust investigations into the proposed buyout. OPERS Richson said that her organization has not determined how it will vote on the deal but that the DOJs decision will play a big role in OPERS decision, since she expects Oracle to fight a negative recommendation from the DOJ. "Being involved in a long, drawn-out legal battle is not good for any company, and we would certainly take that in as a factor," Richson said. Will Oracle succeed in its takeover bid? For two different views, read "Oracle Must Build a Future Without PeopleSoft" and "PeopleSoft, You Will Be Assimilated."
Should the buyout bid succeed, Tim Gorman, president of the Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group, in Denver, said it is not difficult to predict PeopleSofts fate.