PeopleSoft Customers Speak Out On J.D. Edwards Acquisition, Oracle's Takeover Bid - InformationWeek

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9/17/2003
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PeopleSoft Customers Speak Out On J.D. Edwards Acquisition, Oracle's Takeover Bid

They're pleased with the J.D. Edwards integration process and feel more confident that PeopleSoft won't be acquired.

For PeopleSoft Inc.'s and J.D. Edwards & Co.'s customers and partners, consternation and anxiety over the companies' merger plans appear to be receding as details of the integration have unfolded. And the wave of concern, even panic, that rose with the subsequent Oracle takeover bid is also fading into a calmer feeling of security.

There have been a lot of changes in a very short period for buyers and consultants. "Absolutely we were concerned" about the J.D. Edwards acquisition, says Robert Politi, managing consultant at EDS, who was working with client Foamex International Inc. on a J.D. Edwards OneWorld implementation when the PeopleSoft merger news broke.

Politi said he came to the PeopleSoft Connect conference this week with representatives of Foamex so they both could gain a better understanding of PeopleSoft's plans for integration of the J.D Edwards' products. He and others say their or their clients' concerns have been reduced by the relatively quick integration of J.D. Edwards into the PeopleSoft product line. They're also somewhat assured to hear that PeopleSoft believes it will survive the Oracle bid.

Louise Brandy, VP of business systems for C.B. Edward Ellis Co., a commercial real-estate company, has been using J.D. Edwards client-accounting and PeopleSoft financials and customer-relationship-management software for years. As excited as she was about the potential in the PeopleSoft-J.D. Edwards merger, she was equally concerned about Oracle's takeover effort.

"We had been getting some pressure to pare down the number of ERP suppliers we were working with, so the [Peoplesoft-J.D. Edwards] merger saved us from having to make a decision of picking one over the other," Brandy says. "The Oracle deal has been a huge scare." But PeopleSoft's financials have been looking good, and that's made Brandy more confident about the direction the vendor is headed and the customer support C.B. Edward Ellis is receiving.

"There was trepidation about the partnership after the acquisition because we had such a strong relationship with J.D. Edwards. I think that was quickly set aside by our discussions with the PeopleSoft alliance group," says Gregory Benton, director of channels and alliances for BlueStar Solutions, a provider of hosting services for J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft customers.

Although it would be bad for his business if Oracle were to acquire PeopleSoft, Benton says he's not concerned. "I think it was just positioning on the part of Oracle," he says. "We'll certainly keep an eye on the court case."

Similarly, Tom Vollman, CIO of Scholastic Book Fairs, which is in the early stages of a rollout of a PeopleSoft sales-management program, says he believes Oracle will be unsuccessful. "PeopleSoft will be fine," Vollman says. "I really don't understand all the factors behind Oracle's pursuit, but it's not going to inhibit us from moving forward with PeopleSoft."

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