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Oracle promises PeopleSoft 9 in 'final offer'

Cliff Saran
Oracle has tried to win the backing of PeopleSoft users for its bid to take over the rival enterprise software developer by promising to release a new version of PeopleSoft's main products if it succeeds.

The offer to create a PeopleSoft 9 product came as Oracle made its "best and final offer" for PeopleSoft, raising its bid from £11 to £13 per share.

Oracle had previously said that it would maintain PeopleSoft products for 10 years but that it would halt development of new versions.

Jeff Henley, chairman of Oracle, said that in response to customer feedback, "we have decided that it will make sense to put more effort into the PeopleSoft offering".

He added, "We have always said we would support it for 10 years. And I think we have concluded that we will inevitably come up with a next release, a version 9."

Oracle also hopes to offer existing PeopleSoft customers a way to simplify their existing enterprise IT systems.

Harry You, chief financial officer at Oracle, said, "We believe that we can sell additional modules to PeopleSoft customers, many of whom have fragmented systems from multiple suppliers."

You also said PeopleSoft users would benefit from Oracle's outsourcing service.

AMR analyst Nigel Montgomery said Oracle users were relatively unconcerned at the amount of time their supplier has spent on its PeopleSoft bid.

"We have not heard any real concerns from Oracle's customers," he said. "Those running Financials may feel they gain some new functionality from a PeopleSoft acquisition."

The view among PeopleSoft users was polarised, he added. "Some say it would not make much difference if PeopleSoft was owned by Oracle as it has strong support. But some users would feel strongly against Oracle, as they purchased PeopleSoft enterprise software specifically because they did not want to buy Oracle."

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