PeopleSoft nurtures customer support

Speaking at the London stop of PeopleSoft's "Leadership Summit" tour, company president and chief executive Craig Conway thanked...

Speaking at the London stop of PeopleSoft's "Leadership Summit" tour, company president and chief executive Craig Conway thanked customers for their support while the US Department of Justice investigates Oracle's hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft.

"If there was ever a year that PeopleSoft appreciated the support of its customers, it's this year," Conway said.

He made few direct references to the Oracle battle as he laid out the case for the company's growth potential in human resources and financial management software but it was not far from the minds of visitors to the conference.

Geoffrey Milton, director of human resource development in Europe for container shipping company Royal P&O Nedlloyd, which uses PeopleSoft Human Capital Management 8.0 and is looking to upgrade to its version 8.8 said,  "Although I would not say the [Oracle] issue has been resolved, it has been covered over and so, for us, it really isn't a factor now."

Milton said he was at the conference to find out more about the differences between 8.0 and 8.8, and he sees no need to look at competitors for his company's software upgrade planned for later this year.

In general, PeopleSoft seems to be not only retaining, but also expanding its customer base. On Tuesday, it announced that BT will deploy PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management software to manage its worldwide workforce of almost 100,000.

Last April, PeopleSoft reported revenue of $643.1m (£354m) and net income of $24.2m in the first quarter, results that topped its own predictions but fell slightly short of analyst expectations.

Conway was upbeat about PeopleSoft's main competitor, SAP. "Eight years ago, SAP was 10 times our size, four years ago they were four times our size and today SAP is just over twice our size, so we are gaining market share," he said.

Conway will have to be back in the US to testify in court on 29 June.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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