Customers Seek Assurance on Oracle Upgrade Path

Oracle AppsWorld attendees are more concerned about Oracle's long-term vision for enhancing its own products than whether or not it succeeds in its hostile takeover bid of PeopleSoft.

SAN DIEGO—Customers attending Oracle AppsWorld here this week said they want to see evidence that Oracle Corp. has a coherent long-term vision for enhancing its own products regardless of whether it ever succeeds in buying out enterprise application software rival PeopleSoft Inc.

Customers said they have seen little evidence that Oracle has been distracted in any way by its long-stymied hostile takeover of PeopleSoft. They also said they werent really concerned about whether Oracle would ever get a chance to add PeopleSoft applications to its product line.

"Oracle seems to be moving in so many directions these days" that it is hard to follow its plans for the various application modules, said Sanandan Swaminathan, an Oracle applications manager for a graphics technology company in Californias Silicon Valley. "I want to know what the vision is going to be for Oracle applications," he said.

"Im not seeing a clear path for where they are going with the applications," particularly the Oracle manufacturing and human resources applications that his company uses, he said.

Swaminathan said he is far more interested in Oracles native technology than in whatever potential effect a PeopleSoft acquisition might have in the future. "I would like to learn what will be Oracles end game" for development and upgrade of these products, he said.

There has been little evidence that Oracles applications sales and support teams have been distracted by the prolonged effort to buy out PeopleSoft, said Chuck Abell, an information technology manager with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.

"I dont believe they have been going off message" about the long-term future of Oracle applications in advance of a PeopleSoft acquisition, Abell said. Oracle is continuing to focus on developing its own products in areas that are of greatest interest to customers, he said.

Abell said he expects to hear the usual calls for new features and fixes in Oracle applications. During user conferences "there is always a good deal of sniping" from users about problems that havent been fixed, Abell said. But he doesnt expect that "there would be anything out of the ordinary."

Next page: PeopleSoft takeover is important to some.

John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...