PeopleSoft CTO: Oracle Bid Put PeopleSoft on the Map

Particularly in Europe, software maker gained new visibility because of the takeover attempt, chief technology officer says at the CeBIT 2004 show in Germany.

HANNOVER, GERMANY—Even in Europe, PeopleSoft executives couldnt dodge questions about the state of Oracles hostile takeover bid for the company. Oracles bid, launched last June and resisted by PeopleSofts board of directors ever since, is foundering under regulatory disapproval both in the United States and in the European Union.

But PeopleSoft chief technology officer Rick Bergquist had a surprising response to reporters badgering about the issue during the companys news conference Thursday at the CeBIT 2004 show here: Oracles bid has turned out to be a marketing boon for PeopleSoft, particularly in Europe.

"One of the big things is a lot of companies, especially over here, had never heard of us before," Bergquist said, noting that SAPs dominance has been tough to crack. "Now, anyone who reads a newspaper has heard of us."

Bergquist said PeopleSofts own market research indicates that a year ago, it was known mostly as a human resources management software developer. Thats changed since Oracle moved on PeopleSoft.

"Now, people see us as the developer of this hot technology thats more flexible [than competitors software], and Oracle wants this. Its given more people a chance to see our wares."

Guy Dubois, PeopleSofts executive vice president for international operations, was less sanguine about the Oracle takeover bid.

"Frankly speaking, it is over," Dubois said. "It is over. Its almost not an issue anymore for our customers."

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