Ellison pledges support for PeopleSoft customers


19 Jan 2005

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An unusually soft-spoken and conciliatory Larry Ellison has sent a strong message of reassurance to PeopleSoft customers that they will be able to stick with PeopleSoft and JD Edwards products right up to 2013, if they wish.

The Oracle CEO was speaking yesterday at the launch of the newly merged Oracle-PeopleSoft business at Oracle’s headquarters.

Obviously keen to consign the long and bitter takeover battle to the past, Ellison stressed that continuity and co-operation would be the hallmarks of the new business and that the dire warnings of what Oracle would do to PeopleSoft, post-acquisition, were entirely unfounded.

“It was reported in the press that if we were successful in acquiring people we would cancel the Peoplesoft products and tell all their customers they have just 48 hours to move to Oracle lines. Just the opposite is true: our intention is to support the PeopleSoft products and the JD Edward products and the current Oracle lines [the e-business suite]. And not only will we support the PeopleSoft products for a decade, we intend to enhance them for years to come.”

Ellison added that while the current product lines continue to be supported, Oracle would start work on what he dubbed “Project Fusion” – developing a successor suite of products that would combine the features and functionality of all three product lines.

And to those who doubted Oracle’s ability to manage multiple projects, Ellison had these words: “Oracle is a very large company – we have the wherewithal financially and in human resources to develop all three lines of product while simultaneous developing a successor merged suite of products.”

Ellison’s pledge of long-term support related not just to applications but also to other databases (eg, IBM and Microsoft) and other middleware (IBM and BEA Systems) that customers may have been using. He said that while Oracle would prefer that former PeopleSoft customers switched to Oracle database and middleware technology, nobody would be coerced into doing so.

By Brian Skelly