A Quest for resolution of sales and support issues

Quest members still concerned about post-merger sales and support issues

Some 12 months after the two companies announced their buyout deal, JD Edwards users at this week's Quest Global Conference said they are wrestling with issues such as sales force reshuffling and the process of escalating support issues under the new regime. 

"JD Edwards  was our implementation partner prior to the PeopleSoft takeover, and now, as PeopleSoft, our relationship is unchanged," said Melinda Zeppa, ERP project lead at Interstate Battery System of America. The company runs OneWorld XE and is upgrading next week to PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne. 

"There have been some minor changes as the takeover took place, but nothing out of the norm for two companies of this size adjusting to their new organisation," Zeppa said. 

But other users said PeopleSoft's ownership has not generated any improvements thus far. They are still wrestling with various problems caused by the transition, including the implementation of the PeopleSoft enterprise licence model, the reshuffling of the sales force and the process of escalating support issues.

And a number of Quest users remain unhappy that PeopleSoft chose to sever its relationship with the user group, thus depriving them and other customers of a centralised resource to deliver information about migration, pricing, support and other issues. 

PeopleSoft said it annually changes sales territories and reassigns workers. "In order to integrate JD Edwards, we saw a little more change than usual," the company said, adding that it "worked to minimise the effect on customers". 

Despite concerns, other Quest members were not ready to pass judgment on PeopleSoft. "They have done some good things, [and] some things we didn't like," said Lowell Vice, chief information officer at Turner Industries.

On the plus side, PeopleSoft has been making an investment in the World applications, he said, making some features available that otherwise would not exist.

Vice said it is clear the postmerger company is enterprise-focused, leaving him feeling "somewhat like a smaller fish". 

"They could do a better job at centralising the message they want to convey specific to support, maintenance and other types of things," said John Matelski, deputy chief information officer of the city of Orlando, which runs EnterpriseOne financials.

Matelski said he has a good relationship with his sales representative. But with three product sets, World, Enterprise and EnterpriseOne, customers appear confused about which suite will have which enhancements, he said. 

Marc Songini writes for Computerworld

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