PeopleSoft Users Weigh Risks

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2007-10-29 Print this article Print

of Oracles Rapid Growth"> While Canter is staying on PeopleSoft for the foreseeable future because he believes its too disruptive to move, he is seeing some disturbing trends at Oracle. For one, rather than integrating functionality that it acquires from other companies, as PeopleSoft would have done in the past, Oracle is pointing to its other product lines. While the strategy to leverage other lines makes sense from a business standpoint, for a midmarket CIO its a tough pill to swallow. "We dont have the resources to support a lot of different stacks," said Canter. "And no matter how good application integration is, its better to have everything under a single umbrella; its one of the reasons we chose a single umbrella. But the world seems to be drifting away from that—led by Oracle."
Customers also point to resources being moved away from core application development to Fusion development as the source for at least some of the issues with PeopleSofts software. "I definitely have evidence to back this," said Canter. "A lot of strategy and development effort is going toward Fusion, and that cant help but take away from other product lines."
Oracles intended acquisition of BEA, which develops middleware, has brought Oracles Fusion efforts into question. The recent departure of John Wookey as head of application development for Fusion Applications has heightened concern about the middlewares prospects. Imperial Sugars Muller pointed out that after 30 years in the IT business, hes realized there is no perfect system, and Fusion Applications will be no exception to the rule. Click here to read more about the departure of John Wookey as head of Fusion Application development. "No matter how good your methodologies and processes are, putting something together and bundling something that massive is a huge undertaking and has R-I-S-K in capital letters written across the top." As the underpinning for Oracles Fusion Applications, Fusion Middleware is a compilation of integration, business intelligence, business process management, development tools and other software that Oracle has said is its fastest growing product line. It has also pointed to growing market share over BEA given a superior technology stack. But there are those that question Oracles tactics in seeking to acquire BEA. "I dont understand the whole BEA thing," said Canter. "If Fusion Middleware were as great as Oracle is saying, why yet another middleware [company]?" Andrew Albarelle, principal executive officer of Remy Corp., a consulting and executive search company that serves PeopleSoft, Oracle, Lawson and other Human Capital Management users, said that he is thrilled with Oracles attempt to acquire BEA because it gives his company more continuity with its PeopleSoft implementation, which utilizes BEAs middleware (as do many other PeopleSoft implementations). Oracles Fusion Middleware customers could also benefit from the BEA acquisition, according to Albarelle, given that Fusion Middlewares functionality isnt up to specs. "Everybody thats installed it hasnt used it yet," said Albarelle, referring to his customer base. "They didnt feel that it was up to speed for what they needed to do, so they didnt load it yet," said Albarelle. While the acquisition of BEA might benefit Oracles bottom line by adding another technology stack and a blue chip customer roster, the PeopleSoft customer experiences naturally raise questions about how BEA customers will fare. "For BEA customers its like going to a Halloween haunted house and every door you open theres PeopleSoft, Hyperion, Siebel—there are the skeletons, the cats, the jack-o-lanterns and the witches," Muller said. "As you walk through the haunted house theres the graveyard at the end with all the tombstones with the names of the customers with R.I.P on the tombstones," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.


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