The Oracle-PeopleSoft Launch Webcast
By Mike TenEyck, HEUG
President, Texas Christian University
Misty Wells pondered what the ramifications
of the Oracle/PeopleSoft merger would be for UNT. It was noted that the
combined Oracle/PeopleSoft company was launched Tuesday, January
18 via a Webcast, and that our representatives hope they will be able
to get a feeling at the Higher Education User Group (HEUG)
conference in March for Oracle's commitment to higher education. Below
is the HEUG President's letter to members (UNT is a member
organization) in response to the Webcast, reprinted with
permission. -- Ed.
Dear HEUG Members,
A special webcast was delivered
January 18th by Oracle management. The purpose of the meeting was
to launch the “new combined company” of Oracle and PeopleSoft, and
to lay out the corporate strategy for 2005 and beyond. Oracle
indicated that 15,000 individuals had attended the webcast via the
internet, and another 4,000 had dialed in to audio-only conference
calls. We know many who were not able to connect. Therefore, we
encourage everyone who can invest the time to view at least key
portions of the recorded webcast (http://www.oracle.com/peoplesoft/launch_18jan05.html).
If you have ˝ hour, watch the first ten minutes of Larry Ellison’s
presentation and all of John Wookey’s. Here is a brief summary of
what we experienced:
Larry Ellison, Oracle’s founder and
chairman, was joined by his senior management team, including
Safra Catz and Charles Phillips (co-presidents), John Wookey
(senior vice president over applications development) and other
senior executives, as well as several representatives from
significant Oracle and PeopleSoft customers.
The major themes for this webcast
- Continuity – customers should
no t see any immediate changes in the products.
- Consistency – of leadership in
a single new organization.
- Integration -- Oracle will
work toward improving integration and articulation among the
- Improvement – current products
will be improved; the new “combined product” offerings will
have significant improvements over anything currently
The key points from the 2˝
-hour-long meeting were as follows:
- Oracle will support current and
future releases of the PeopleSoft software line thru 2013
- There will be additional
PeopleSoft product releases (more version 8.9s in 2005 and
version 9.0 in 2006), as well as bug-fixes, maintenance paks,
etc. Customers are not being asked to live with “frozen
software” over the next nine years.
- All PeopleSoft releases will be
able to use the current array of platforms supported currently
- Current and new customers will
be able to purchase Oracle, PeopleSoft and J.D.Edwards modules.
New customers will be encouraged to buy the Oracle E-Business
- However, a new “combined
Oracle-PeopleSoft product line” will evolve over the next few
years in a major effort called “Project Fusion”. This will
involve the development of a new Java-based product
architecture, data hubs and transaction bases, individual
“Fusion” applications (2007) and the “Fusion” suite (2008).
- PeopleSoft customers who are
current in their maintenance payments may choose to continue
their use of their fully-supported current products through
2013, or to upgrade without additional licensing charges to the
new “Fusion” products. (Oracle is essentially adopting the
PeopleSoft maintenance cycle through version 9.) Oracle promises
a “robust, configurable product with strong industry-specific
functionality and superior usability, with seamless upgrades
from existing Oracle, PeopleSoft and J.D.Edwards products.”
Oracle emphasized that this will look like an “upgrade” not a
- Oracle wants to inherit “all the
good things” from the PeopleSoft/J.D.Edwards products and from
the PeopleSoft staff. In selected areas, teams may remain
segregated for the immediate future. 90% of the PeopleSoft
development and support staff were retained. [The Board has
heard from separate unverified sources that from as few as 1,000
to as many as 3,000 of the 5,000 employee reduction in force
came from Oracle employees.]
- New leaders announced in the
Joel Summers (Oracle) will
oversee the continuity of the product lines and details of the
new organization as it impacts PeopleSoft.
Jesper Andersen (PeopleSoft) is
in charge of the “Applications Strategy Team”.
Cliff Godwin (Oracle) will lead the “Tools & Technology Team”
which will build the architecture for the “Fusion” products.
- Juergen Rottler (Oracle Support
& On Demand [ASP]) explained why they believe the new company
will be better than the separate companies: integration can now
move forward rapidly; Oracle now offers the best customer
support in the industry; Oracle will adopt PeopleSoft’s product
retirement policies; customers can use the same phone numbers,
websites and, for the most part, engineering support resources
they are used to; the PeopleSoft support organizations which
currently provide customer support in nine languages will now
have customer support in 27 languages; the new company can adopt
the best practices from both companies; the current investment
in products and roadmaps will continue in for the near future;
Oracle will rely on user groups and customers for directional
- Mark Elliot of IBM announced
that they will continue to be implementation partners for all of
the lines. Oracle will try to expand the list of partners.
- Charles Phillips announced that
the new company is the leading provider of applications in North
America; the largest supplier of HR and Supply Chain
applications worldwide. He said that education for all products
will continue, and that there are now twice as many support
engineers than before. This merger gives Oracle the opportunity
to lead out in establishing industry standards for application
The Board has learned that Oracle
will move maintenance pricing to 22% of licensing costs for new
sales and renewing contracts by policy.
PeopleSoft’s Higher Ed sales group will lead the new company’s
team, under Jim McGlothlin. Most of this group has been retained.
Also, the Campus Solutions strategy and product development teams
will take the lead in this area in the new company and 100% of
that team is still in place.
That’s about all for now folks! At least our discussions are now
open and sharable, and we will keep you as current as we
reasonably can as more details are disclosed.
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