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PeopleSoft user group hosts Oracle chief

A PeopleSoft user group is to host Oracle president Chuck Phillips at an upcoming educational event.

Oracle is in the middle of a very public and acrimonious takeover attempt of PeopleSoft.

Even so, the Quest user group, which PeopleSoft inherited after its buyout of JD Edwards last summer, said Phillips would attend a regional conference in San Diego to answer questions about Oracle's proposed $9.4bn bid. While there, Phillips will discuss Oracle's positions on the JD Edwards applications, now called EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft World. 

Quest and PeopleSoft recently engaged in a very public feud over PeopleSoft's reluctance to offer support for Quest events. 

"Quest is continually devoted to providing customers a forum for open exchange and unbiased information," said Quest president Barbara Schmit. "We are acting on behalf of all customers to have our issues addressed. Quest is in no way interested in promoting Oracle's takeover attempt, but only in having customer concerns addressed in a factual, timely manner." 

The organisation decided that when Oracle recently increased its offer to $26 per share for PeopleSoft, the time had come to get a sense of what Oracle might do if its efforts succeed. 

Quest has also invited PeopleSoft to attend the event but had received no response as of Friday. A board member of the group stressed that the decision to hear Phillips out is not designed to foster an actual debate between the two sides of the takeover fight. 

"We think there is tremendous value in calling them on the carpet and finding out their plans for OneWorld or World software should this hostile takeover occur," said Quest board member John Matelski. "I have a decision to make associated with my ERP investment and need sound information, not just corporate rhetoric or media speculation." 

In particular, Matelski said he wanted to know if Oracle would spin off the JD Edwards line of software, since Oracle executives expressed ambivalence about the PeopleSoft-JD Edwards merger before it closed last year.

He added that Quest's relationship with PeopleSoft has not changed, and the company still has no plans to support Quest's events. 

Neither Oracle nor PeopleSoft returned requests for comment on Friday.

Marc L Songini  writes for Computerworld


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