The Man On The Hot Seat For Oracle-PeopleSoft

Larry Ellison may be the center of power at Oracle, but John Wookey is leading the make-or-break task of merging the companies' applications.
Each of the applications is likely to incorporate the Oracle concept of data hubs and transaction bases, or portable data and transaction services that can be used by many applications. A data hub or transaction base can act as a point of integration among otherwise separate applications, he said. In 2006, Oracle, for example, will implement a clinical transaction base for the pharmaceutical industry for use with its applications, Wookey said.

The head of the Application Strategy Team is PeopleSoft veteran Jesper Andersen, former VP and general manager of PeopleSoft's tools and technology division.

In addition, the Oracle and PeopleSoft development organizations will form a technology group that will seek to ensure consistency of development environment and tools across the three development groups. Cliff Godwin, senior VP of Oracle's application technology group, will lead the effort. Joel Summers, an 11-year Oracle veteran and senior VP of human-resources management systems, will relocate from Oracle headquarters at Redwood Shores to Pleasanton to lead the combined technology support groups. Ellison said Oracle intends to keep PeopleSoft's Pleasanton campus open, and that the layoffs there would be "in the hundreds, not in the thousands. In fact, we're moving some Oracle people who live in the East Bay over to the Pleasonton facility."

Ellison and Wookey both spoke the notion of culture that many have flagged as the most-difficult aspect to combining the two companies. "Some traits of the PeopleSoft culture we actually want to inherit--things that make them unique and successful as an application company," said Wookey. Summers understands that culture because he has competed against PeopleSoft's strength in human resources applications, he added.

Ellison, however, dismissed the notion that PeopleSoft "is warm and fuzzy, and we're hard-edged and ruthless," noting that Craig Conway--former PeopleSoft CEO and top sales executive at Oracle--managed to thrive at both places. Yet he acknowledged the rivalry was intense. "Competition breeds emotion, and that's a good thing," Ellison said. "And over time, those emotions run pretty deep, and I'm sure PeopleSoft wanted to beat us just like we wanted to beat them, and they competed with us from the time they were founded."

Wookey also outlined the following schedule for application upgrades:

In 2005, PeopleSoft Enterprise Version 8.9 will continue to be rounded out with additions and enhancements. J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne and World applications will receive regular enhancements.

In 2006, Oracle will release Version 9.0 of PeopleSoft Enterprise and Version 8.12 of J. D. Edwards EnterpriseOne. In addition, Oracle will launch Version 12 of its own E-Business Suite.

In 2007, the first applications showing the Fusion platform will be released.

In 2008, a merged Fusion application suite will be made available that gives all three product line users a migration path to Java-based applications organized around the modular principles of services-oriented architecture.

Continue to the stories:
Safe Passage: SAP Aims To Sway PeopleSoft Users
and Oracle Aims To Reassure PeopleSoft Users

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