PeopleSofts Conway Looks to the Future
PeopleSoft CEO says J.D. Edwards acquisition will greatly improve his company's battle plans for SAP.
In one of its most serious moves to combat rival SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc. this week acquired midmarket competitor J.D. Edwards & Co. for $1.7 billion. The acquisition is only the latest by the Pleasanton, Calif., enterprise resource planning software developer, but according to PeopleSoft President and CEO Craig Conway, it is one of the most critical, as it firmly establishes the company as the No. 2 ERP player, ahead of Oracle Corp. Conway spoke with eWEEK Department Editor John S. McCright about the impact Denver-based J.D. Edwards will have on his company and customers. He pointed to PeopleSofts 1999 purchase of CRM developer Vantive Corp. as an example of how the company can digest an acquisition without alienating that companys existing customer base. Why is this acquisition good for customers, and what does J.D. Edwards bring that will enable PeopleSoft to expand its market share beyond simply adding the two customer bases together?
This is one of the most compelling mergers in technology history. The reason I say that is because most of these mergers are motivated by a single advantage or a single dimensional advantage and this was motivated by three dimensional advantages: One was market distributionJ.D. Edwards is a leader in the midmarket, PeopleSoft is a leader in the large enterprise market. The second dimension is product. PeopleSoft could pull up into its large enterprise distribution J.D. Edwards manufacturing and distribution expertise; likewise, J.D. Edwards could pull down into the midmarket PeopleSofts HR expertise.