Although the ink on the deal between Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc. is barely dry, third-party software developers that make their living selling add-on enterprise resource planning applications are bracing for a seismic shift in their business.
Software providers such as Newmerix Corp. and Anteo Group LLC that count PeopleSofts customer base as a large part of their user community expect to see a huge ripple effect, possibly leading to new opportunities around migration, development, and testing and retraining, to name a few areas.
But those opportunities wont come without a price. For many companies, it will mean refocusing their products on Oracles software and technology stack.
"Were putting as many resources as possible on getting to Oracle as quickly as possible," said Newmerix co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Niel Robertson. "Weve discovered a lot on how to really play to the infrastructure of PeopleSoft. Now were starting to ramp up all our knowledge on Oracle as well. ... Our focus on Oracle has started sooner than it would have."
A PeopleSoft Partner Connection Program software partner, Newmerix, of Superior, Colo., is expanding its business model to include an Oracle practice. The company, which provides a suite of change management products that help PeopleSoft users stay current with patches and upgrades, is developing an Oracle-based solution that is due in the first half of this year. The new software will include Newmerixs current products for automated testing, compliance and program management, and application change management, Robertson said.
Other third-party vendors are more concerned. "Oracle is much less encouraging to third-party vendors to support their applications than PeopleSoft was," said Dion DeLoof, CEO at Anteo Group LLC, based in Atlanta. "PeopleSoft has made money on licensing revenue and has been happy for [the Anteos of the world] to be out there making money on upgrades. Oracle doesnt like to give that piece of the business away. Thats really our challenge three years out."
Anteo, which counts on PeopleSoft implementations and upgrades for about half its business, has not executed any major PeopleSoft implementation projects for at least six months. DeLoof speculated that the slowdown was a result of users uncertainty over PeopleSofts fate.
For DeLoof, whats most important is the future and whether Oracle will decide to offer implementations and upgrades at price points that are competitive with or undercut Anteo and others.
Oracle, for its part, has said it will promote a robust partner program that embraces PeopleSoft partners it finds useful. ´
Merging the partners
The PeopleSoft Partner Connection Program:
* Services partners Provide consulting, implementation services and technology platforms
* Software partners Offer new functionality and complementary products around PeopleSoft offerings
* Associate partners Deliver content or added services around PeopleSoft software
* Channel partners Provide implementation partners in specific geographies or markets