PeopleSoft Backs Sybase

Enterprise application developer pledges to port its software to Sybase's enterprise database.

John Chen
SAN DIEGO—Sybase Inc. unveiled a partnership with PeopleSoft Inc. today at its TechWave conference here aimed at helping increase its share of the enterprise database market.

As part of the agreement, PeopleSoft becomes Sybases preferred vendor of ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) applications and PeopleSoft has agreed to provide all of its applications on Sybases database platform at the same time as any competitors, said John Chen, Sybase chairman, CEO and president. He expects the deal to help Sybase generate more sales of its Adaptive Server Enterprise database.

"We have a common view of where business is going in the future," Chen said of the relationship.

PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., is adding support for Sybases Adaptive Server Enterprise database to Version 8.8 of its PeopleSoft CRM software. Before todays announcement, PeopleSoft had already supported Sybase for its ERP and Enterprise Service Automation modules.

PeopleSoft President and CEO Craig Conway told eWEEK that his company evaluated whether to work more closely with Sybase, of Dublin, Calif., given that its share of the database market has fallen significantly in recent years. PeopleSoft discovered that Sybase, which has diversified into integration and mobile technology, remained strong in solutions for vertical industries such as financial services where PeopleSoft would like more penetration.

"When we took a fresh look at Sybase customers we found its still a large number and theyre not going anywhere," Conway said. "Try to go to Wall Street or any telecom and not support Sybase. Its impossible."

The companies have committed to support the partnership for eight to 10 years in order to assure potential customers, Chen said. Sybase also will dedicate between eight and 10 sales people to work on joint sales, and Sybase will suggest PeopleSoft applications to its customers.

The PeopleSoft partnership helps address one of Sybases biggest problems. Its database business has not had strong partnerships with enterprise applications vendors, something its main database competitors – Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp. and IBM – have been able to exploit, Chen said.

"In the past…we allowed some of our biggest accounts to get Trojan horsed by Oracle and other people who come in underneath the apps," Chen said. "This (deal) will block off some of those future apps."

As well as having applications to offer existing companies on ASE, Sybase also hopes to gain a foot into new companies through PeopleSoft applications, Chen said.

The Sybase arrangement isnt changing PeopleSofts work with other leading database vendors, Conway said. Even though Oracle and Microsoft have moved into larger suites of enterprise apps, PeopleSoft will continue to support those vendors databases.

"We still integrate with Oracle, though it pains us to do so," Conway quipped.

eWEEKs John Taschek contributed to this report.

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