Oracle will continue support for PeopleSoft users, says Oracle executive

PeopleSoft users have questioned an Oracle executive about support for PeopleSoft products should Oracle's hostile bid for the...

PeopleSoft users have questioned an Oracle executive about support for PeopleSoft products should Oracle's hostile bid for the rival software maker succeed.

As part of its public relations campaign to support its takeover attempt, executive vice-president Chuck Phillips took questions via the web or by e-mail from more than 700 participants.

Support, product updates and pricing were the topic of many questions. Each time Phillips assured customers that Oracle would keep to PeopleSoft's standards or exceed those and honour existing contracts.

Phillips repeated that Oracle will support PeopleSoft 8 for at least 10 years and extend support for PeopleSoft 7 for at least two years beyond the date PeopleSoft said it would end support.

Phillips said updates to the PeopleSoft products would also come in regular cycles and added that Oracle had no immediate plans to change pricing for PeopleSoft products.

"We don't want PeopleSoft customers impacted in any way in a negative way," Phillips said. "The PeopleSoft customers should feel good that we made this so public. We think we're on the hook."

Marketing is really the only part of PeopleSoft that Oracle will axe, said Phillips. The products will still be sold to whoever wants to buy them and existing users will be able to purchase additional modules and seats.

Oracle wants the bulk of its revenue to come from those contracts that guarantee cash flow instead of having to rely on new licence sales.

"We would love to get to the point where the bulk of our revenue is maintenance and support and not licence sales," Phillips said. "The investment that we are making [in PeopleSoft] is for existing customers to create that recurring revenue. If we would do anything crazy on support we would pay for that in terms of retention rate."

Overall, Phillips reiterated Oracle's commitment to the PeopleSoft bid. "We're in it for the long haul," he said.

Oracle launched a $5.1bn hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft in early June, days after PeopleSoft said it would buy JD Edwards. Oracle later sweetened its bid to $6.3bn.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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