PeopleSoft chief avoids takeover issue during keynote

PeopleSoft chief executive officer Craig Conway barely touched on Oracle's bid for his company during his keynote speech at CeBIT...

PeopleSoft chief executive officer Craig Conway barely touched on Oracle's bid for his company during his keynote speech at CeBIT America, in New York yesterday (19 June).

Instead he focused on PeopleSoft's plan to acquire JD Edwards, claiming it would benefit both companies' customers and shareholders.

He predicted an era of reduced complexity in the enterprise applications industry, and called for major players such as PeopleSoft, Oracle and SAP to work together to ensure that their applications integrate easily.

PeopleSoft, he said, is already working to ensure that its software talks with its rivals' products inviting SAP and Oracle to do likewise.

"This is the beginning of the end of middleware. It's the beginning of cross-functional applications, where the integration between them is not a burden on you, it's a burden on the enterprise software companies. We should code our products so that they all work together right out of the box," Conway told delegates.

Suppliers also need to reduce customers' integration and maintenance burdens, according to Conway. Ten years ago, installing a printer was a frustratingly complex task; now, it's a simple matter handled almost automatically. Enterprise software needs to become similarly user-friendly, he said.

"In the enterprise software industry, the technology has not yet been directed toward the ownership experience. That's the problem, and that's the opportunity for PeopleSoft," he said. "Where PeopleSoft is going to get to is a software installation in one day. A complete installation of enterprise software within a few weeks, not months."

Echoing IBM's vision of autonomic computing, Conway said PeopleSoft's goal is to create software that will monitor itself and offer up real-time analytics.

Support for a number of platforms is also part of PeopleSoft's flexibility-driven strategy, he said, detailing his company's commitment to making all of its software available on Linux.

"We are convinced that Linux is now robust and reliable enough. We are supporting it aggressively, not because we are anti-Microsoft, but because it is good to have a choice. It gives you options for things like databases and web servers," Conway said.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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