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The Almighty Buck IT

PeopleSoft Goes To Oracle 216

Posted by Hemos
from the picking-up-the-pieces dept.
codecool writes "It is final. Peoplesoft's Board of directors finally relented and agreed to let Oracle have them for $26.50 per share. Finally, it all comes to an end." Closing date is set for mid-January timeframe.
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PeopleSoft Goes To Oracle

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  • Refunds??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the-matt-mobile (621817) on Monday December 13, 2004 @08:20AM (#11071556)
    So, I wonder if PeopleSoft customers can take advantage of the full refunds on their software licenses that were being offered if Oracle succeeded. The article's a little short on details.
    • Re:Refunds??? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sein (803257)
      Probably not - that was just a "Poison Pill" to make the takeover/buyout completely unprofitable for Oracle and their stockholders.

      Poison pills are almost never in the stockholder's best interest - they're mainly used by entrenched boards and management who see their jobs threathened by any takeover, be it "hostile" or "friendly".

      Since Oracle launched a lawsuit challenging that particular little gem, I think it's unlikely that anyone can take advantage of it before Oracle gains operational control and c
      • Re:Refunds??? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Duhavid (677874)
        Interesting.

        So, poison pills are OK, but labor unions are not.
        Guess it depends on whos job is threatened.
        • I don't think that board members and executive management lay awake at night wondering how they will feed their families if they lose their jobs. THAT is the qualitative difference between labor unions and poison pills. One protects people who can't protect themselves; the other protects people who are already well-protected.
      • Re:Refunds??? (Score:4, Informative)

        by rcs1000 (462363) * <{moc.liamg} {ta} {0001scr}> on Monday December 13, 2004 @10:50AM (#11072610)
        That's simply not true. I have been intimately involved with the PeopleSoft/Oracle bid, and I can tell you had PeopleSoft not put the customer protection plan in place, it's sales would have collapsed following the bid.

        When Oracle first announced it was to acquire PeopleSoft, it said it would close it down. Big corporate customers literally could not buy PeopleSoft software with the sword of "no support" hanging over them. With the product roadmap taken away, they delayed purchasing or went to SAP [sap.com].

        PeopleSoft was left with a dilemma, offer some reassurance to customers who wanted to buy its software or watch sales wither. (In which case, Oracle would probably have withdrawn its bid having seen a competitor's sales collapse.)

        We may not like the way PeopleSoft tried to evade Oracle's clutches, but - as far as customer assurance went - it really had no choice, either for its shareholders or its customers.

        Disclaimer: up until August '04, I was a stock analyst advising fund managers on the software industry.
        • Re:Refunds??? (Score:3, Informative)

          by aralin (107264)
          When Oracle first announced it was to acquire PeopleSoft, it said it would close it down.

          This is one of the widely curculated lies about the whole case. At no time did Oracle say that it will do that. What happened is that right after the bid, so called journalists started to speculate that Oracle would do that and portrayed these speculations as something Oracle said. Right the next week these were refuted by a reiteration from Oracle that the company would continue development of PeopleSoft products and

      • Re:Refunds??? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hangtime (19526)
        The refund agreement was not a "Poison Pill." A poison pill simply states that if another acquiring firm purchases more then x percent of a target company's shares then the target company has the right to issue more shares making it prohibitively expensive for the acquiring company to do a takeover without the consent of the targeted firm.

      • I have had my own experience with posion pills.

        I was an employee of Pharmacia & Upjohn which became Pharmacia and finnally became Pfizer. Our "poison pill" was that if you were laid off (they insisted on using the term "Releasing Your Potential") due to a change in control you would recive a minimum of 6 months of salary in one lump sum. People with the company more then 5 years could get upwards of 3 years worth of pay in some instances. So, we all felt safe but ultimatly I, along with several th
  • by theskeptic (699213) on Monday December 13, 2004 @08:21AM (#11071565) Journal
    The top 4 out of 5 stories in the wsj.com site an hour back were-
    Peoplesoft-Oracle.
    JnJ- Guidant
    Sprint-Nextel
    Honeywell-Novar
    London Stock Exchange- Deutsche Boerse

    Lots of mergers/acquistions going on. Good for companies who want less competition. Bad for consumers.
    • by mordors9 (665662) on Monday December 13, 2004 @08:27AM (#11071585)
      But you're forgetting, they are doing it for innovation and synergy not for profits and eliminating competition..... silly rabbit.
    • if a merger is vertical it tends to lower costs and is thus good for the consumer. arguably oracle/peoplesoft is vertical.

      you are thinking of horizontal mergers. with the exception of JnJ- Guidant, and Sprint-Nextel (which i know little about), none of those listed are horizontal.
      • Please define vertical and horizontal in terms of businesses and mergers.
        • Vertical: a bigger company buys a smaller one, and the smaller one essentially becomes a division of the larger one. Like when Hitachi bought IBM's hard drive unit.

          Horizontal: Two large companies that already do similar things merge. Such as the Compaq/HP merger.
        • by mforbes (575538) on Monday December 13, 2004 @09:04AM (#11071783)
          A horizontal merger is one in which both companies compete for the same market. For instance, if MS were to buy out Oracle's database platform and services, that would be a horizontal merger, since MS already has SQL Server.

          A vertical merger is one in which, for instance, one company uses a product of the other company in order to build and sell their own product. An example of this would be if a cellular service provider were to buy a cell phone manufacturer. (I don't know of any real-world instances of this; it's only a theoretical example.)

          Hope that helps :)
          • Thus the weakness of the original poster's argument is demonstrated. Microsoft buying an application company is certainly vertical, and certainly unlikely to be particularly good for consumers.
            • Both are bad for consumers, except when the industry is in so much trouble it will otherwise no longer exist. The problem with vertical monopolies is that the competition cannot compete on any level and is forced to quit. For instance if company A makes a product which company B, C and D uses, and either B, C or D buys A, the other two companies will usually die. On the other hand if any of B, C and D buys another, the other one will usually die, except the have a bit more of a fighting chance. To conti
          • Dell buying the Chinese factories that build their computers.
      • arguably oracle/peoplesoft is vertical.

        Oracle and Peoplesoft compete directly to provide ERP systems. Are in fact numbers 2 and 3 in this space. How is this arguably vertical?

    • And don't forget the most important one: Molson's and Coor's .... this is far scarrier than Peoplesoft and Oracle!!!!
      • Why is that scarier? One of two things can happen:

        a) American Beer stops tasting like donkey piss.
        or
        b) Canadian Beer starts tasting like donkey piss.

        Given that Labatts is still Canadian, and makes a pretty good beer, I'd wager that a is more likely than b, however anything's possible I suppose.
    • What this really points to is that big business believes that the economy is stable enough and has sufficient growth potential to risk spending the big bucks to invest in it.

      Whether or not this is good news for the average consumer remains to be seen. The software market is going to continue to get tighter. This is a complete SWAG based on nothing current, but I wouldn't be surprised if Sybase was the next big take-over target.

      The cell phone market is going to stay competitive for a while with Sprint
    • Lots of mergers/acquistions going on. Good for companies who want less competition. Bad for consumers.

      I agree that it's bad for consumers. If it's good for the companies has yet to be seen.

  • Buy PeopleSoft to get a new customer base. Raise prices on PeopleSoft software to increase revenue and recover cost. Nice money if you can get it

    Rus
  • by Amiga Trombone (592952) on Monday December 13, 2004 @08:25AM (#11071580)
    My shop is running a massive PeopleSoft implementation. Now what? Since Oracle wants to discontinue the line I wonder how much longer they'll be offering support for it. I also have to wonder what our alternatives are going to be to replace it.

    This is going to suck big time.
    • open source (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jeif1k (809151)
      After you have gone through a few of those, you'll come to realize the value of open source. People didn't use to think this was possible for OS'es or GUIs, but it turned out it was. They said open source wasn't reliable enough or secure enough or whatever, but they were wrong. And, yes, it is possible for the kinds of products PeopleSoft used to make as well.

      Maybe your company and a bunch of other companies should get together and start working on an open source version of PeopleSoft's software. The go
      • Re:open source (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wudbaer (48473)
        Now show me the great Open Source product being able to replace SAP, PeopleSoft and the like and everything will be jolly good.

        Oh, I forgot, I'm supposed to write it myself. My stupid.
        • Now show me the great Open Source product being able to replace SAP, PeopleSoft and the like and everything will be jolly good.

          Oh, I forgot, I'm supposed to write it myself. My stupid.


          Attitudes like this are exactly why no open source version exists. There is quite a bit of value in writing an open source solution, espessially if your primary business is not software development. Hiring a couple of in-house programmers for a year to do development is probably not much more expensive (perhaps even cheape
          • where rivals can look at the code you're using and totally undermine your business pratices

            There is some truth to this statement though. If company A hires me to write some software for them that gives them a competitive advantage why would they want to release it as open source? Company A footed the bill for development, so they reap the rewards. What is the arugment for releasing the software as open source so that competitors B, C, etc... get to use the software for free?
            • Re:open source (Score:3, Interesting)

              by hanssprudel (323035)
              . If company A hires me to write some software for them that gives them a competitive advantage why would they want to release it as open source? Company A footed the bill for development, so they reap the rewards. What is the arugment for releasing the software as open source so that competitors B, C, etc... get to use the software for free?

              The point is that you are in the business of maximizing the returns for your stockholders, not trying to punish the stockholders of your competitors. If you can incre
              • So yes, your competitors get reap the rewards of your work, but because you released it under the GPL, you will get paid back by reaping the rewards of their additions, modifications, and bugfixes.

                This is not necessarily true- if they never distribute the software, they are under no obligations to share any changes that they made to the software. You can modify and use GPL'd software to your hearts content without sharing a thing. The only time you are obligated to make any changes you have made to the
                • This is not necessarily true- if they never distribute the software, they are under no obligations to share any changes that they made to the software. You can modify and use GPL'd software to your hearts content without sharing a thing. The only time you are obligated to make any changes you have made to the code available to someone else is if you give them a copy of the software.

                  Except that this argument doesn't hold because:

                  a) They end up with a version that cannot be distributed. This may work fine
          • Re:open source (Score:2, Insightful)

            by durdur (252098)
            Large corporate applications like PeopleSoft are complex - it is not something a couple of guys can knock out in a year. Some apps are tightly tailored to particular industries, but even so, purchasers need a lot of customization to make the software work for them.
            So it's not a "write it once, use everywhere" piece of software like the Linux kernel. Plus, a lot of companies who buy this stuff are not software experts - that's not what their business does. So writing their own solution is not an attractive o
          • Re:open source (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jacobcaz (91509) on Monday December 13, 2004 @10:40AM (#11072529) Homepage
            • Hiring a couple of in-house programmers for a year to do development is probably not much more expensive (perhaps even cheaper) than paying the proprietary software to begin with, espessailly once you get customizations done.
            Hiring a couple of in-house programmers for a year will get you jack squat progress towards a full-blown home-rolled ERP system.

            I will wager you could pull off something like a inventory management package or order management interface that would work in a small company, but there is no way a "couple of in-house programmers" could produce anything close to an Oracle/PeopleSoft/Great Plains/SAP type system.

            The system flexability, business knowledge requirements, legal issues, tax issues, GAAP requirements, Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, etc. would overwhelm any small team. Couple that with the need for on-going support and upgrades, regulatory updated (taxes, SoX, etc.) and you've got a team of hundreds working on the project.

            "But it's open-source!" you cry, "We'll give it to the community and let them extend and build it!" Without a in-stone development plan you would just have a ton of people all working on various bits and it would be difficult if not impossible because you would have a hard time determining where someone would fit into the project based on their desire to contribute and their skills/background.

            If you could manage to pull all this off - you would have to offer some type of 24x7 support if you wanted anyone else to use your software. No company that would need an ERP solution would touch one without serious support backing it up. So you setup a division to charge for and provide 24x7 technical support (and don't forget you'll need to provide functional support too).

            Guess what; you just re-built an SAP or a PeopleSoft.

            • Re:open source (Score:3, Informative)

              by bungo (50628)


              Hiring a couple of in-house programmers for a year will get you jack squat progress towards a full-blown home-rolled ERP system.

              If I had mod points, I'd give you a +1 insightful.

              As for an example, where I'm currently working uses Oracle's E-Business suit. There are 4 full-time DBA's, and about 20 full-time developers.

              What do these people do? Create new wizz-bang system? No. Everyone is either involved in keeping things running, or making minor modifications or additions to the existing syste
            • I really hate your reply.

              And I totally agree.

          • Re:open source (Score:3, Insightful)

            by IdleTime (561841)
            Writing an OS is easy, writing Oracle Apps, SAP or Peoplesoft is much more complicated. Why? Simply because it has to be adapted to local laws in all countries it will be sold in, differences in accounting practices etc. You need patches for every country and every minor change in laws. You need support 24/7 since it is a vital product for most companies, withouit it running, you have no idea who owes you money and vice versa etc.
        • Oh, I forgot, I'm supposed to write it myself. My stupid.

          First of all, SAP is mostly a marketing construct. If you look at their higher education product, for example, three out of the five modules already have open source implementations.

          Second, SAP has a bunch of big problems: they are stuck with cumbersome technology for various reasons and their customers have big scalability demands. A low-end FOSS implementation can be kept much simpler and be based on platforms that make implementations much eas
    • If you merge, the biggest thing you buy is the other guys customers. If Oracle hangs you out to dry, you can just as well move to SAP. That would be money straight out of the window for Oracle. So expect a super soft and cuddely migration, spread over several years...
    • Is to wait it out, since any move will cost you a lot of cash, both hard cash and time..

      Most likely oracle will let people migrate to what ever they come up with when the 2 products are merged. And most likely most will choose that route.

      Not that i like oracles products, but once you spend several million to get PS running, you really dont have much of a choice realistically..
    • "There is great disorder under heaven, and the situation is excellent."

      -- Old Chinese proverb

      Maybe it won't suck. Keep in mind that there's going to be turmoil, and turmoil creates opportunities for the geeks who maintain these systems (I assume that you're one of the above, since you're posting on Slashdot).

      Maybe you'll have to learn Oracle. Maybe there'll be massive retraining. Maybe you'll have to rip everything out and start over. This would be a good time to ask for a raise.

      The consulting gravy
    • I hope they replace the software ASAP! I've had the pleasure of supporting their CRM software for the past 10 months and its been the most painfull experience i've had in awhile. This weekend we had to upgrade peopletools because of a severe design issue which caused insane locking in the database.

    • First off, that was Oracles plan in the beginning, but as of this afternoon, Oracle has publically stated that it will be continuing support, and even furthering development on PeopleSoft's products.

      I'm in the same boat.

      The story I'm referencing is as follows (the comment comes about half way down the article, starting with "In its statement Oracle moved":
      Yahoo News [yahoo.com]
  • by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Monday December 13, 2004 @08:27AM (#11071587) Journal

    I checked Oracle's web site. [oracle.com] It appears that existing PeopleSoft customers have some good news out of this. After having invested millions of dollars on PeopleSoft, they won't have to immediately migrate to another ERP system:

    We intend to enhance PeopleSoft 8 and develop a PeopleSoft 9 and enhance a JD Edwards 5 and develop a JD Edwards 6. We intend to immediately extend and improve support for existing JD Edwards and PeopleSoft customers worldwide.

    Of course, whether or not PeopleSoft version 9 is an improvement over PeopleSoft version 8 depends on how much you love your existing ERP system. Of course, I don't see anything on whether or not the new PeopleSoft version 9 will run on DB2 or SQL Server.

      • We intend to enhance PeopleSoft 8 and develop a PeopleSoft 9 and enhance a JD Edwards 5 and develop a JD Edwards 6. We intend to immediately extend and improve support for existing JD Edwards and PeopleSoft customers worldwide.

      The question is; will Oracle keep a lot of the PeopleSoft support staff and development staff or will they cut them loose? We've had problems in the past finding good GSC analysts for tech cases and when we find a tech who really knows the system we keep going back to them.

      Also

      • Amazing isn't it! My sister has made a small fortune being good with ugly, convulted COBOL
      • we've had problems in the past finding good GSC analysts for tech cases

        You found a good GSC analyst? Wow, can I get their e-mail address? I haven't found a good one yet.

        If they cut a large portion of the development staff how long will it take Oracle to get their developers up to speed on the mess of PeopleCode, App Engine code and COBOL that makes PeopleSoft run?

        Not to make you feel worse, but from what I have heard, Oracle Applications do not have a great reputation. Rumor has it that they are even

    • PeopleSoft, they won't have to immediately migrate to another ERP system:

      My guess is that Oracle will do to PeopleSoft the same thing they did (are doing) to RDB.

      For those who are too young to remember, once upon a time, there was a company known as DEC, and they had a database which ran on their VAX hardware called RDB, and it was way ahead of everyone esle in terms of being a multi-dimensional database - much the same way their clustering technology was so advanced that others are only now catching
  • by TheRealFixer (552803) on Monday December 13, 2004 @08:36AM (#11071640)
    Since Oracle's stated goal was to simply buy PeopleSoft to destroy their product line (something which I still can't believe the judge is letting them get away with), wasn't there a poison pill that if Oracle discontinued their product they'd be liable to refund every customer in full? What happened to that?
    • As long as the board agrees to the merger, the PP (well, actually, this is the CAP part of the PP agreement. The PP itself was a stock flood, as is per normal of poison pills) is null and void. The PP was designed to halt a *hostile* takeover attempt. This is no longer hostile. Also, Ellison has stated that they will continue to offer excellent (yeah, yeah, it's subjective) support to PSFT customers for the next 10 years or so.
    • My company uses Peoplesoft a hell of a lot for accounts, HR and so on. A refund would be utterly useless, as the cost of the software itself is nothing compared to the cost associated with implementing and integrating a brand new general ledger, HR system and so on..
  • by Cletus the yokel (462083) on Monday December 13, 2004 @08:51AM (#11071709)
    Peoplesoft and IBM recently penned a strategic alliance [ibm.com] to resell and promote each others' products. So I guess this will begoing the way of the dodo. Or will it? Will the contract language leave Oracle in the embarrassing position of promoting DB2 as the preferred database platform [ibm.com] for Peoplesoft and JD Edwards?

    I'm also wondering, long-term, about support from Oracle for Peoplsoft on platforms other than Oracle. Will Oracle support Peoplesoft on Oracle, Oracle, and Oracle? My understanding that most Peoplesoft implementations were historically SQL Server with the new preferred platform being DB2. if that changes again it'd be BIG headaches for DB2 customers...
    • >Will the contract language leave Oracle in the embarrassing position of promoting DB2 as the preferred database platform for Peoplesoft and JD Edwards?

      The press release says nothing about PSFT (now ORCL) having to promote DB2. It's IBM that's promoting DB2 as the database of choice for PSFT. I highly doubt that the contract says anything about PSFT promoting DB2. At best, it might specify that PSFT has to remain compatible with DB2 for a specified period of time, but even that's unlikely. I'd bet that

  • Great! (Score:2, Funny)

    by stateofmind (756903)

    Our company has been eagerly waiting for this merger. We completed a merger ourselves, last year.

    It gave us the benefit of having both Oracle and PeopleSoft experts/consultants.

    How many people work in a shop, that primarily uses Oracle? We use Oracle for the database, JDeveloper for the IDE (working on getting us to switch to Eclipse), Oracle Forms and now Oracle Portal.

    I'm in charge of getting our Java environment up and running and moving us from PHP web application development, to Java. PHP
    • Last gig was all oracle, all the time (big enterprise license). stay far, far, far away from Oracle's app server. It's certainly NOT worth paying for. Jdeveloper isn't bad, but there is no reason it can't coexist with developers who'd rather use eclipse (some did). ADF ? I'd rather use something standardized like Struts.
  • by MyDixieWrecked (548719) on Monday December 13, 2004 @09:20AM (#11071884) Homepage Journal
    I have a friend who used to work for oracle, but quit because she didn't like it and now works for peoplesoft. She can't get away! ahhh!
  • Doesn't this require shareholder approval first? What if someone came along with a better offer?
    • Re:Not final? (Score:3, Informative)

      by jdigital (84195)
      Shareholders approved the deal at $24. Please note that almost 70% of PSFT's shareholders are currently institutional investors who have seen value in Oracle's offer for a long time. The analysts concensus is that PSFT is worth around $21/per share. So $24/share assumed some synergies. At $30/Share, ORCL could still afford the deal, but it would no longer be accretive (increase ORCL's EPS post-merger). So PSFT knew they could get away with asking for 26.50.

      Just another MBA student passing through.
  • Whoops, forgot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TychoCelchuuu (835690) on Monday December 13, 2004 @11:44AM (#11073019) Journal
    In Korea, only old people acquire Peoplesoft :D Contrary to a bunch of the people here, I think it's nice that we can get more consolidation. The sooner we get it down to 2 or 3 gigantic competitors, the sooner more small people can start up and fill the gaps. Assuming they aren't stifled by the big people already in place. Oh well. Good luck, new startup companies! If there are any. I'm sure there'll be at least one.
  • Damn shame. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rscrawford (311046) <rscrawfordNO@SPAMundavis.edu> on Monday December 13, 2004 @11:58AM (#11073169) Homepage Journal
    From the Computer World article: "After careful consideration, PeopleSoft's board decided that Oracle's latest offer provides good value for PeopleSoft's stockholders, the company said. The agreement ends a long, emotional struggle, it said."

    I hate it when execs say things like this, because they don't mean a word of it. What they really mean is, "After careful consideration, PeopleSoft's board decided that they would make a hell of a lot of money, and screw the little guys -- like customers, employees, etc."

    Oracle wants nothing with PeopleSoft except to destroy it utterly. They don't want any competition in the marketplace, and PeopleSoft is their only competition. Ellison, the madman, said so himself way back at the beginning of this fiasco.

    My father-in-law and a very good friend of mine are both software consultants for PeopleSoft. They may get to keep their jobs, since Oracle doesn't currently have a CRM product, but I expect they're both going to be looking for work before 2005 is done with.

    Simply more proof that the world is going to hell.
  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Monday December 13, 2004 @12:19PM (#11073325) Homepage
    Indiana University switched over to a peoplesoft solution this year and it is the biggest steaming pile of crap I've ever seen. registering for classes is an arcane practice at best now. When it was first rolled out you couldn't look up a class by it's name or the department it was in but an obscure numerical code that had no relationship to the course number. I and several other people were on a waitlist to get into a course and only by accident a week before classes started one of us noticed there were spaces in the class, and yet we were all still on the waitlist and none of us had been notified.

    There have also been cases where students didn't get their loan checks and I have experienced numerous times when the system, even when not under heavy load, has said i am not logged in right in the middle of doing something or said i didn't have permission to access something even though it is my records and the classes I am teaching as a grad student.

    To top it all off, it is a web portal with a million links and buttons and tabs just like the web portals back in '99 that were really cool and then crashed and burned.

    I can't imagine that Oracle could make things any worse.
  • I believe the JDE software that Oracle wants to keep is the OneWorld - which is PC server based and rarely works. I am curious what happens to the World software (runs on IBM iSeries). Considering how much money my company dumped on it this is going to decide some things for us.

    Hopefully we will ditch it soon, we are 4+ years in and only deployed at 2 out of 55 locations. Can you say "software doesn't fit us"?

    I still see this buy as a customer buy.
  • Same Oracle [boingboing.net] that thinks China's governmental censorship is A-OK?

    Yes, yes, Microsoft, Google, blahblahblah. Are Microsoft, Google, et al pushing hardcore for a National ID card?
  • If what I'm reading has been correct...

    * PeopleSoft will vanish, as Oracle wanted to eliminate their software.
    * Thousands of employees here in the Bay Area will lose their jobs
    * The PeopleSoft execs will walk away with "golden parachutes" valued in the millions.
    * The shareholders will profit.

    Employees lose. Customers lose. How lovely.
  • Former JD Edwards employees can take a look at JdeAlumni.org [jdealulmni.org]

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