PeopleSoft Customers Remain Loyal in the Face of Oracle Takeover

Customers at the PeopleSoft Connect user conference are choosing not to dwell-at least publicly-on the looming threat of Oracle's takeover bid.

SAN FRANCISCO—Based on its founding precepts of customer service, PeopleSoft Inc. has long been known as a company with terrific customer loyalty.

That loyalty is in full force at this weeks PeopleSoft Connect user conference, where many customers are choosing not to dwell—at least publicly—on the looming threat of Oracle Corps $7.7 billion hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, which cleared federal antitrust issues by a federal court ruling earlier this month.

/zimages/4/28571.gifPeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway told conference attendees that the Oracle fight isnt over yet. Click here for more from his keynote address.

"Were not planning for the eventuality [that Oracle might acquire PeopleSoft]," said Ronald Schulte, manager of systems administration at The David J. Joseph Co., in Cincinnati, Ohio. "We didnt worry when PeopleSoft took over J.D. Edwards, and well continue on whatever happens [with Oracle]."

Schulte is in the process of converting from a 2000 release of JDEs software to the 8.9 release of PeopleSofts Enterprise suite. A former Lawson Software Inc. customer, Schulte said he is not at this point considering switching software vendors should the deal go through.

"We would not go back to Lawson. They could not help our legacy transaction accounting," said Schulte. "We spent a lot of money on our [Lawson] conversion; now that the [JDE] database is in place, we prefer to continue moving forward. We are happy to hear PeopleSoft is dedicated [to Enterprise One development]."

Likewise, Betty Hoile, staff engineer with Honda of America Manufacturing Inc., has discussed some options should the Oracle acquisition take place, but she is moving ahead with planned human resources and financials upgrades to 8.11.

"We are hoping [the Oracle bid] doesnt come off," said Hoile, who is based in Marysville, Ohio. "We have discussed options, but we hope it will go away."

Because Carmen Stumpo runs a PeopleSoft financials consulting business, Stumpo Consulting Group Inc., he has tried to look a few years down the road to see where his place will be in the marketplace should Oracle be successful in its bid. However, Stumpo said he is not spending too much time worrying.

"I dont see [the] Oracle and PeopleSoft [deal] happening. There are too many roadblocks," said Stumpo, whose company is based in Royersford, Pa. "Unless there is really a lot of [benefit] Oracle can show shareholders, but I havent seen that."

All three PeopleSoft customers believe that the companys alliance with IBM, announced yesterday, is a good deal for PeopleSoft. The agreement boils down to a $1 billion dollar commitment by both IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., and PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., to develop new functionality.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here for more customer reaction to the IBM deal.

"Its always good to have a big brother," said Hondas Hoile.

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