Oracle Eyes PeopleSoft as Meat on the Hoof

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2004-12-06 Print this article Print

Opinion: According to its president, Oracle has a clear idea of how it's going to slice up PeopleSoft to retain the choicest assets and send the rest to the corporate rendering yard.

SAN FRANCISCO—These days, Oracle is looking at PeopleSoft like a live steer walking about with neatly painted lines and labels listing all of the prime cuts of meat. Its just waiting for the green light to hit it in the head with a sledge hammer so it can turn PeopleSoft into so much sliced and shrink-wrapped beef. Oracle president Charles Phillips made that clear during his Monday morning news conference here at the companys Oracle OpenWorld customer conference.
In the 18 months since starting its hostile pursuit of PeopleSoft, Oracle has had plenty of time to think about how it would assimilate the company and its products if it ever gets to close the deal, Phillips said.
It will put out the welcome mat for the best PeopleSoft developers, managers and sales executives and cast the rest to the four winds. That was the gist of Phillips description of Oracles plans for PeopleSoft—and indeed is the fate of any company that gets bought out by a bigger and richer suitor. Oracle will put that added developer talent to work on building and enhancing Oracle products, while the PeopleSoft product line is slated for gradual extinction. Oracle is letting its Business Intelligence 10g stand alone. Click here to read more. Phillips made it clear that Oracle isnt going to introduce a "superset" combination of the best of both product lines. In this, Phillips is reiterating what Oracle has said all along: that it wasnt bidding for PeopleSoft to acquire products and technology, it was buying it to acquire the customer base and the software industry talent inside the company. Phillips contends that PeopleSoft customers "have gotten a lot more comfortable" with the prospect of the buyout as time has gone on, especially since Oracle received tender commitments from the holders of 60 percent of the outstanding PeopleSoft shares. Furthermore, Oracle has had plenty of time to speak to PeopleSoft customers, most of whom are already Oracle customers. "If there is anybody now who wants to know our story about PeopleSoft, we can talk to them, but we have already reached most of them," Phillips said. Next Page: What will become of PeopleSoft apps?

John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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