No products dropped after PeopleSoft-JDE merger


5 September 2003 PeopleSoft has set out its new strategy following its merger with rival JD Edwards, promising to support all JD Edwards’ product lines and making a firm commitment to maintain current levels of customer sales and support.

PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway told a gathering of analysts and the media in New York last night that the integration of the two companies’ software will be completed within 180 days. The various applications will be re-branded into three new product lines, while new products will be introduced during the next 18 months, he added.

Although the precise results of the integration process will not be disclosed until PeopleSoft’s user conference in Anaheim, California, on 15 September 2003, some tantalizing details have already emerged.

It is now clear, for example, that PeopleSoft software will inherit asset management and real estate management capabilities from JD Edwards, while old JD Edwards products will contain PeopleSoft’s supplier relationship management software, cash management software and analytics technology.

By the end of the integration process, PeopleSoft will be left with the following product lines: PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne, which will include software aimed at the mid-market; and PeopleSoft Enterprise, aimed at large enterprise users. PeopleSoft says it will also continue to support JD Edwards World products, rebranded as PeopleSoft World.

In a statement certain to be welcomed by the two companies’ 11,000 customers, Conway said that the $1.7 billion acquisition would not result in the axe falling on a single PeopleSoft or JD Edwards product.

“This was never intended as a consolidation play,” Conway said. “It was never intended to drive down the size of the product line or to coerce or enable a revenue stream by consolidation. It’s always been about growth.”

His comments will be seen as a thinly veiled criticism of rival Oracle, which PeopleSoft maintains will end support for PeopleSoft’s products should its hostile bid for the company go through.

Oracle executives insisted earlier this week that the company planned to support the two latest versions of PeopleSoft software for at least two years and that it would honour all existing customer contracts.

Meanwhile, in a move seemingly designed to give it greater protection from Oracle, PeopleSoft announced plans to buy back $350 million worth of shares before the end of 2003.

PeopleSoft also revealed yesterday that up to 1,000 jobs will go as a result of the merger, representing about 7% of the combined workforce of 13,000.

But executives sought to reassure customers about the effect of the layoffs on sales and support functions. “There will be virtually no reductions in development [staff], sales reps or billable consultants,” said chief financial officer Kevin Parker. The redundancies will mostly affect administrative, marketing and middle-management positions, he said.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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