Oracle isn't a threat, says PeopleSoft CEO

PeopleSoft president and chief executive officer Craig Conway played down Oracle's attempts to take over his company, saying that...

PeopleSoft president and chief executive officer Craig Conway played down Oracle's attempts to take over his company, saying that he did not see Oracle's takeover attempt as a viable threat.

"That saga has been over for two months," he said. "[Oracle CEO] Larry Ellison every week contacts Reuters, AP and Bloomberg and says, 'You know, I'm still interested in acquiring PeopleSoft,' and they dutifully put it out on the wire instead of asking why [Oracle's] application business has been at its lowest level since 1998.

"The story here is that Oracle has kept that pretty well camouflaged as they tried to convince the world this [takeover offer] is still in play, and no one is paying attention. It's like an old movie that no one is going to any more."

Conway brushed off the suggestion that Oracle's offer to PeopleSoft 7 customers that in the event of takeover it would support the software for at least 10 years led to the changes in technical support his company unveiled last month.

"We will support Version 7 forever. We're still offering technical support and bug fixes for PeopleSoft 2. That was a great, classic play on words by Larry, implying we didn't support PeopleSoft 7. What we did recently was expand the amount of time you get upgrades and scripts and tax tables to make customer support even sweeter. The core technical support has been indefinite since the beginning of time," he said.

Conway added that SAP is the only company ahead of PeopleSoft. That's unlike even two years ago where, when you looked at the two companies, in some areas one would have what the other doesn't.

When told that some users are questioning PeopleSoft's commitment to JD Edwards' green-screen World products and want to see that software maintained as a third line of business, Conway said, "It is a third line of business. And I think there's an absolute desire for our AS/400 customers to have enhancements and developments and innovations. The AS/400 product is supported both in World and EnterpriseOne. But most innovations are on the modern architecture, EnterpriseOne."

Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld

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