As the specter of an Oracle Corp. takeover hovers overhead, PeopleSoft Inc. is doing what it can to solidify its user base and help enterprises better manage its products.
The company, at its PeopleSoft Connect user conference in San Francisco this week, will announce the Interactive Service Repository, a hosted repository of all the integration points in PeopleSofts Enterprise and EnterpriseOne business applications suites. The move is aimed at helping customers map business process integrations.
The Web-based repository lists all of the integration points for a given business process, said Chief Technology Officer Rick Bergquist, in Pleasanton, Calif. "By clicking on the URL of integration points, a user can drill into details—sequencing identifiers, flow of events, various services to make use of," Bergquist said.
Also at Connect, PeopleSoft will unveil a rearchitected upgrade process that detects changes in data warehouse structures rather than in the Enterprise applications databases themselves, according to Bergquist.
"The upgrade process [in Enterprise] had programs where you compare what you change to what exists [by] detecting structures in the database," said Bergquist. "We found the database engines werent too efficient, that the transformation capability used in data warehousing does the same thing so it was more efficient to use those types of capabilities."
Upgraded processes for EnterpriseOne are in the works, according to Bergquist.
The repository currently supports standard implementations. Future iterations will accommodate user customizations, according to Bergquist, who is still mulling the option of keeping the repository hosted or enabling users to deploy it on-site.
PeopleSoft will also announce more than 250 enhancements to its Enterprise Human Resources suite, as well as a number of vertically-oriented upgrades to the Enterprise and EnterpriseOne suites.
EnterpriseOne customer David Gallaher said he welcomes the upgrades and is hoping to see future iterations. "For us the news that PeopleSoft is still proceeding down the [upgrade] path ... is good news," said Gallaher, director of IT for Jefferson County, Colo. "I expect them to say [at Connect] that they are going to hold off Oracle and that they are going to spend time focusing on technology. The problem is they are not in control of their own destiny."
While necessary, the announcements may not be enough to keep up with competitive integration offerings from Oracle and applications leader SAP AG, some analysts said.
"PeopleSoft needs to have the [SAP AG] NetWeaver [integration platform] equivalent story," said Bruce Richardson, an analyst with AMR Research, in Boston. "They dont have their own [integration] stack the way Oracle does, and the way SAP does."
Technology aside, Oracle poses a threat to PeopleSoft, particularly in light of a federal court decision this month that a proposed $7.7 billion Oracle takeover would not violate antitrust laws. In letters sent to customers and employees last week, PeopleSoft President and CEO Craig Conway said the deal isnt done and pointed to the impending European Commission antitrust ruling and two court dates.
"While this [last] ruling will receive extensive press coverage, it is really only another chapter in this ongoing saga," Conway wrote. "Most importantly, it does not mean Oracle will acquire PeopleSoft."
In fact, there are still major hurdles to overcome before Oracle can acquire PeopleSoft, including an impending antitrust ruling by the European Commission that could block a combined Oracle and PeopleSoft from doing business in Europe. No deadline for that ruling has been set.
And a Delaware court next week will hear Oracles case for having PeopleSofts poison pill anti-takeover measure removed.
Furthermore, a California court in November will hear PeopleSofts claim that the $7.7 billion takeover bid by Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., is intended to harm PeopleSofts business.