But in what may be a sign of the times he urged users to "invest in PeopleSoft this month".
Conway's call for PeopleSoft users to upgrade now was in marked contrast to the advice from many analysts who urged caution in the light of the Oracle bid.
Conway focused his presentation on the company’s plans to make ERP self-managing and to make middleware redundant.
He said the company would provide users with software that could be installed within a day and deployed in weeks rather than months. “Agent” software would be embedded into PeopleSoft’s products to support "on the fly" upgrades and auto –patching.
“It is time for the software industry to move to a new era,” said Conway. He called for the industry to address the total cost of ownership issue of software rather than focusing on new features.
He also used the keynote to launch a scathing attack on Microsoft’s .net strategy for web services.
Conway likened the Microsoft vision for running enterprise software on desktop PCs to “putting asbestos in your home”.
While PeopleSoft will support .net, Conway planned to introduce the Linux products by the end of the year.
In terms of middleware, Conway said companies were spending millions on middleware integration. “Suppliers should seamlessly integrate their products to avoid middleware."
In this respect, Conway said PeopleSoft would be providing out-of-the-box integration with SAP.
“The burden of integration should rest with the suppliers, not users,” he said. “This is the beginning of the end of middleware.”