Oracle’s fusion confusion

“I think the merger integration is complete,” says Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, about his successful acquisition of rival software maker PeopleSoft.

Perhaps Ellison means that all the pink slips have been sent out to nearly 5,000 superfluous employees. But surely he cannot mean the product integration work is complete? Oracle has committed itself to updates of Oracle’s 11i and PeopleSoft’s Enterprise 8 this year and Oracle 12 and PeopleSoft 9 by 2006.

But Ellison insists he is “not concerned with the development of PeopleSoft 9, J.D. Edwards 8.12 or Oracle 12”. Instead he will focus on Project Fusion, a Java-based application suite providing the best features from all of Oracle’s product sets, allowing easy integration with other apps, expected to hit the markets around 2008.

Notably, Oracle intends to do this while cutting $150 million from the company’s combined R&D spend.

All this makes it tricky to work out what Ellison’s plan really is. The new PeopleSoft suite is clearly a sop for those users with expensive guarantees handed out during the takeover battle. But who exactly is Oracle targeting with a version of its business software which, by its own claims, will be outdated two years after release?

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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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