24 June 2003 Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has made a 10 year support commitment to PeopleSoft users.
In his keynote speech at the Oracle Apps World conference in London today, Ellison refuted reports that the company planned “to kill the [PeopleSoft] product”.
“There has been a lot of talk that we are going to kill the product [line], not support the product line. Absolutely the opposite is true,’ he said.
He also re-emphasised a commitment to extend support for PeopleSoft 7 ‘for a year or two’, a version of the suite that PeopleSoft had previously said it would stop supporting at the end of this year.
The current version, PeopleSoft 8, he said, would be supported by Oracle for the next 10 years if its takeover bid succeeded.
“We are going to extend support on PeopleSoft 8 for at least the next 10 years. Why should anyone believe us?” he asked.
Pointing to Oracle’s track record, he cited one of Oracle’s earlier purchases — the 1994 acquisition of the Rdb database system from Digital Equipment — he claimed that Oracle had continued to support thousands of Rdb customers for the best part of a decade.
“I think you’ll find the Rdb group [of customers] are extremely happy,” he said. As with Rdb, “we will keep a large [PeopleSoft product] development team in place, supporting it and continuing to improve it,” Ellison added.
However, he reiterated previous company statements that, if the acquisition is successful, Oracle “will not actively market” the PeopleSoft product line.
“We won’t have ads for PeopleSoft products. But we will sell [PeopleSoft applications] to current and new customers if they want it and we will give them the option to move to Oracle E-Business Suite. If you are a PeopleSoft customer, you can upgrade to PeopleSoft 8 this year or to Oracle E-Business Suite,” he said.
Moreover, he emphasised, Oracle would not charge customers for that upgrade. “We are going to make it as easy as possible to upgrade and make it price neutral,” he added.
Ellison also said that he would not rule out an increase in the offer price for PeopleSoft. Oracle is currently offering $6.3 billion for PeopleSoft, 29% above the PeopleSoft share price at the start of Oracle hostile takeover moves.