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Oracle's Hostile Takeover Bid For PeopleSoft 229

Posted by timothy
from the what-do-the-vapors-say dept.
rkuris writes "Oracle has launched a 5.1 billion dollar cash hostle takeover bid against Peoplesoft. PeopleSoft's CEO Craig Conway (a former top executive for Oracle) called Oracle's offer 'atrociously bad behavior from a company with a history of atrociously bad behavior.' 'Obviously it is a transparent attempt to disrupt the [1.7 billion dollar friendly] acquisition of J.D. Edwards by PeopleSoft announced earlier this week.' The week's events have reopened old wounds between the companies, which have a history of hostility and name calling."
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Oracle's Hostile Takeover Bid For PeopleSoft

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  • I would sure as hell be selling it to Oracle.

    how could anyone but a Zelot pass up that offer?
  • Some bad, some bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sean80 (567340) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @06:57PM (#6140426)
    Bad - I can't imagine it's a whole lot of fun working for Peoplesoft right at the moment. From what I've read, Oracle would lay off a large number of their employees. Given the state of the jobs market in Silicon Valley, and the fact that an entire company will disappear, with all of its associated technologies, processes, and so forth, what will the people there do?

    Bad - I don't know about you, but I was pretty pissed off when AT&T sold their cable unit to Comcast. I got a call one Saturday morning from some company that I have never personally signed up with, offering to change my channel selection for me. Imagine paying a few hundred thousand dollars after having chosen Peoplesoft, only to have Oracle call you up one day, and say, 'hey, you're our new customer!'

    Good - I suppose this'll be good for Oracle, and maybe, at the end of the day, customers will win because of the integration of two not-too-bad software suites.

    • by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:22PM (#6140520)
      customers will win because of the integration of two not-too-bad software suites.
      Nope. No integration is planned. Just migration. See this article at the Register [theregister.co.uk].
      • by JanneM (7445)
        Umm, the register isn't exactly a Paragon of Truthful Virtue, you know. In a sense, they're a perfect representative of British news - the picture isn't exactlty fake, and the facts aren't technically wrong, but you inevitably come away with an impression of the events that has very little to do with what actually happened.
        • And you're posting this on Slashdot. My head hurts...
        • In a sense, they're a perfect representative of British news

          A-ha! What have you been reading - The Sun, Daily Mirror or Daily Express?

          The top 2 or 3 serious broadsheets are on par with their American equivalents really, though granted, we don't get two editions a day.

    • by finkployd (12902) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:27PM (#6140538) Homepage
      You are correct, Oracle has a history of buying up companies and pissing off current customers. Recently they bought Steltor (maker of CorporateTime) and pretty much told all existing CorporateTime customers that they would now have to buy Oracle's crappy backend server bundle if they wanted to continue running CT. As a result quite a few Universities are dumping CT and throwing their efforts behind the open source Chandler calandar system.

      Finkployd
      • As a result quite a few Universities are dumping CT and throwing their efforts behind the open source Chandler calandar system.

        Calendaring, huh? Check out the site [osafoundation.org]. I'd say "calendaring" is understating the case. If it was just a calendaring system, it might have a chance. Instead, it seems to be going for "everything to everyone".

        :w
      • by miu (626917)
        You are correct, Oracle has a history of buying up companies and pissing off current customers

        Ugh, I've been through that before. You buy an application from a smallish-midsize company, everything is great until they get bought by a giant. I experienced this four years ago and we are still on an unsupported version from before GigantiCo bought out our vendor of choice (and the new vendor offerings in our area are unsuitable). Hacking that poor old thing to keep it somewhat modern takes a fair amount of

      • by smallpaul (65919) <paul@pres[ ].net ['cod' in gap]> on Sunday June 08, 2003 @12:30AM (#6141528)

        I always laugh when I hear people say they feel safer with a corporate product because there is a company behind it with the incentive to keep improving it. They've got it exactly backwards. The minute there is no more profit in a product, or the minute it becomes strategic to tie it or bundle it with something else a company will do that. An open source product can continue to advance as long as a single person cares about it.

    • by man2525 (600111) on Sunday June 08, 2003 @12:08AM (#6141453)

      Imagine paying a few hundred thousand dollars after having chosen Peoplesoft, only to have Oracle call you up one day, and say, 'hey, you're our new customer!'

      Few hundred thousand? Talk about getting off light. We have a PeopleSoft implementation at our university that cost millions of dollars. Oracle has said that they will support existing PeopleSoft implementations but that they would kill PeopleSoft's product line. Fine by me. The education product line is a contorted piece of crap that is obviously HR software. Students have Employee IDs, their majors are Career Plans, and they have Program Actions. On top of that, seeing 6 figure consultants who fly to France on the weekends to get haircuts and buy cookware lose marketable job skills will make my day.

    • >

      I suppose this'll be good for Oracle

      No, this will only disperse Oracle's energies. At this moment, Oracle should be focusing on creating a relational successor to its quasi-SQL engine, while upgrading the current offering to full SQL compliance. And it should have a credible free software story, not only "we run on Linux" -- they should run on the BSDs, on all platforms besides Intel, and be free software itself.

      >

      maybe, at the end of the day, customers will win because of the integration of

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2003 @06:58PM (#6140433)
    Oracle is one of the BIG supporters of Linux. They are now running their own operations on Linux and are in the process of converting their customers to Linux. Oracle is the good guy in this fight. They are a good friend to Linux and deserve our support. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Remember, the IT world is a shark tank -- it's eat or be eaten. Someone's going to be doing the eating, and it is better Oracle than [ name of comany in Redmond omitted ].
    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:12PM (#6140481) Homepage Journal
      They support Linux purely because it's a buffer against Microsoft, who they see as their biggest potential competitive threat - largely because Microsoft is large enough to put Oracle out of business, if they try and Oracle doesn't fight hard back.

      Oracle really hasn't supported the open source and free software communities beyond allowing their closed products to co-exist peacefully with them (and run under them.) They're not IBM or the much-undeservably-maligned Sun, both of whom regularly contribute to open source and free software projects. I wouldn't call them good guys, merely interested observers.

      • by aralin (107264) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:30PM (#6140553)
        Well, if you are talking about the community contributions, Oracle is heavily pushing clustering support for Linux. They are doing everything possible to make Linux clusters a perfect replacement of your big unix iron. The linux porting group in Oracle is growing way too fast and quite a lot of their work is on the kernel and libraries and is GPL'ed and contributed back to community either directly or in form of patches available on Oracle web. I'd say IBM is doing more to help Linux, but I am not sure about Sun. Really.

        Besides, Ellison hates Gates. Its personal. So his support of Linux is very Slashdot-like. :)
        • I'm glad to hear Oracle is helping with the clustering support. That's the first I've heard of Oracle's involvement in anything free or open...

          I didn't say Sun was helping Linux specifically, I said they are with Open Source and Free Software. In addition to many public and open standards and implementations thereof, Sun is most famous recently for providing a completely open source and free software office suite with a feature set close to that of the industry standards. I'd say that's a pretty significa

        • by yintercept (517362) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @08:38PM (#6140795) Homepage Journal
          Oracle is supporting Linux because their customers were installing Linux servers big time and Oracle wanted in on the action. Oracle's whole claim to fame had been that their software runs on many different platforms. Programs written for Oracle on Solaris run on NT, Unix, etc.. The business plan requires porting to any major new OS.

          As for Microsoft bashing, the one reason I like Microsoft is because I know that if Oracle had the PC monopoly, things would be much, much worse. The reaon Oracle hates MS isn't because MS has a monopoly in the desktop OS, it is because MS ruined the nice little monopolies that the heavyweight database engines and mainframes had been working to perfect.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Both IBM and SUN have hardware business and they benefit directly by selling Linux hardware. Oracle supports almost all of their products on Linux with nearly 100% of the functionality. As far as I know, it is the only large company to do so. Also, their releases on Linux typically doesn't lag or lag by 1 version where it is waiting for next version of Linux kernel to stabilize. Oracle is also strong supporter of Java. Most of their products comply well with the international standards. Consider the fact th
      • Oracle is a considerably larger company than Microsoft. Ms really isn't that big, they just have tons of market cap and a lot of cash laying around. Given the history between Gates and Ellison I'm sure Bill would have taken out Oracle by now if he could.
    • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:22PM (#6140521)
      Wow, talk about a severe lack of perspective.

      Oracle is using its cash on hand to cannibalize another company, steal its customer list, terminate development of its products, lay off 8000 tech workers, and turn Silicon Valley into even more of a smoking crater than they have already by outsourcing so much of their own development work to the Third World.

      But they support Linux, so that's all OK! Oracle deserves our support!

      • Oracle is using its cash on hand to cannibalize another company, steal its customer list, terminate development of its products, lay off 8000 tech workers, and turn Silicon Valley into even more of a smoking crater than they have already by outsourcing so much of their own development work to the Third World.

        ...But in doing so Oracle manages to dominate the global multi-billion dollar CRM/ERP/Business Services market and increases in size, unseating the German company SAP and brings in millions to its

        • Here's something to think about, the Oracle offer may be a cheap move by Oracle, it may also be a symptom of PeopleSoft's vulnerability.

          It might be also a result of Oracle hiring recently [forbes.com] that a software analyst that watched PeopleSoft for Morgan Stanley for years.

          It might be also result of a question in Larry's recent (2-4 weeks) performance, which touched the subject and reminded him that PeopleSoft refused his polite offer a year ago.
          He does not like a 'no' for an answer. :)

    • by Morky (577776)
      Have you any idea what it takes to install an ERP? Imagine you've been working on a PeopleSoft installation for the past 10 months. You spend most of your day, every day, in a room of consultants and key users trying to figure out how to make the thing work for your business. You're almost there, just a few more data conversion issues to deal with. You expect this system to run the business for the next 10 years. Now imagine a company buys your ERP vendor and says it will discontinue the product you've been
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx. b c .ca> on Saturday June 07, 2003 @06:58PM (#6140434) Journal
    For those of us who are clueless about this sort of thing, would someone care to enlighten the masses?
    • by Courageous (228506) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:01PM (#6140446)
      While someone with more in depth information regarding securities training could probably elaborate, it's basically an attempt to purchase shares in the company sufficient to control it without the acquiesence of the company's board of directors. For example, on form of "hostile takeover" is simply acquiring sufficient controlling shares on the open market. If you have > 50%, you control the company.

      C//
      • by Usagi_yo (648836) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:31PM (#6140555)
        White Knights, Green Mail, Poison Pills and Proxies.

        Oracle is trying to gain controlling interest in People Soft without the blessing of the board of directors of People Soft.

        Proxies can be considered the voting rights of the stock.

        Green mail is two things, primarly it would be People Soft bribing Oracle by buying back whatever shares Oracle accumulated -- giving Oracle a nice profit. Another form of Green Mail would be Oracle offering to buy huge blocks of stock off of People Soft stock holders at premium prices -- or simply gaining the proxy of them.

        Poison Pills would be People Soft doing things to wreck the company and make it not so attractive as a takeover. Poison pills are usually a package of things they do. But the most adverse is to take out huge loans to buy back its own stock, Licensing company IP, and even awarding employees huge stock options. Basicaly they are throwing road blocks up and salting the earth.

        White Knights are 3rd party corporations that come in and start buying People Soft and forcing the stock price up and making Oracle have to deal with two companies rather then just one. White Knights often really Gray Knights in disguise and are trying to make a profit too. Usually hostile takeovers are preceeded by months of slowly accumulating the stock of the takeover target. However there is a point, I think 5% at which the company has to notify the other company that they are targetted for aquisition. And I think the targetted company can get an injuntion against the other company enjoining them from buying more stock until the shareholders meet.

        They are long and costly bloody battles that are usually done to scuttle or destroy the targetted company and the real benefit to the company initiating it is gaining market share, intellectual property, and other desired assets to the detriment of the targetted company.

        Hey, I think we oughta code this up and make an mmorpg out of it!

        Thats my bastardization of hostile takeovers.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Speaking of poison pills, perhaps it would be a good idea for PeopleSoft to Open Source their products and change their business from development to support. Considering their target audience, support should be a viable business and a takeover would be less attractive to Oracle as they wouldn't gain control of the source.
        • Hey, I think we oughta code this up and make an mmorpg out of it!
          Hey! That's not a bad idea. You could play any of the moves you mentioned (poison pills, white/gray knights, green mail)... This could actually be a fun game!
          • by nelsonal (549144) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @09:41PM (#6140992) Journal
            There was an old game called Wall Street Raider that let you do all the things that were so popular in the 80s. It was pretty fun, but too easy to beat the computer if you fudged a little on the ethics and traded on your inside knowledge. I think Greenmail refers only to the payoffs companys make to the potential takeover artist, to basically go away. The above market price offer is called a Tender offer. Oracle's offer is exceedingly low for a hostile bid, most of these require at least a 25% premium, since the entrenched management has several advantages in getting the shareholders to approve the merger. The hosile bid, usually only has a high price. This seems like a way to screw with Peoplesoft's recently announced non-hostile takeover offer for JD Edwards.
      • If you have > 50%, you control the company.

        Do I have total control in this case, able to do anything I would if I owned the company as a sole proprietorship?

        • Mostly (Score:5, Informative)

          by GCP (122438) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @11:36PM (#6141380)
          There are some contractual things you can't get out of. You can't cancel existing contracts, which is the reason a "poison pill" defense sometimes works, and there are various contractual guarantees made to major investors that can create "classes" of shareholders (preferred, common, etc.), which makes it a little more complicated than just a question of percentages.

          However, the answer to your question is mostly "yes". As 51% shareholder, you can typically completely replace the board of directors, because the board is elected by the shareholders (which means the owners) to represent their interests. New 51% owners usually want new representatives for their new interests, and the 49% owners can't raise the votes to stop them.

          Then, since the CEO works for the board, the new board appoints a new CEO, who then replaces the senior execs, who all report to the CEO. They can then replace anyone below them who doesn't support the new regime.

          I should add that the term "hostile takeover" is frequently just the viewpoint of the existing management. It's hostile to them because they may be thrown out by the new owners. It may not be hostile at all from the perspective of the existing small-scale shareholders -- the "outsiders".

          Another possibility (in some cases) is that the old insiders club (the board and their pet CEO and his cronies) may have been milking the company for their own personal gain and there was nothing the small-scale shareholders could do about it. The big guys are making a pile of money off the company, while the company itself goes nowhere because it's being managed for the benefit of the top management, not the common shareholders.

          Then a new team comes to town and offers a lot more money for common shares than the shareholders were going to get any other way. Whether the shareholders sell to the new guys or keep their now-higher-valued shares, the game has changed. Now, the old management tells everyone that the new guys are "hostile", but that may not be the way everyone sees it. They may end up more corrupt or incompetent than the old management, or they may be the first good thing for the common shareholders in years, but either way they'll be called "hostile" by the old management.


      • Actually 50% is not (strictly speaking) controlling interest. 50% +1 of voting shares is absolute control.

        A controlling interest is a number of the VOTING shares that is enough to swing a vote in the direction you desire. That's why in most jurisdictions securities regulations require filing disclosures if you own >5% of the shares outstanding.

        A controlling interest can be 30%, 20% 10% or even less.

        It's governed by statistical models, probabilities and obviously the basic math. As long as another shar
    • by ffatTony (63354) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:03PM (#6140452)
      here you go [everything2.com]
    • by tupshin (5777) <tupshin@tupshin.com> on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:05PM (#6140456) Homepage
      In very simple terms, a hostile takeover is when the management of a company rejects a takeover offer, and instead the offer is presented to the individual shareholders. If enough shareholders sell, then the takeover is effectively complete because the acquiring company has enough votes to install their own management. There are various ways of defending against hostile takeovers (do a google search on "poison pill"), but if the offer is high enough, they can be overcome.
    • by Shishak (12540) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:06PM (#6140461) Homepage
      Normally with public companies there isn't any one person with a majority share of the business. Business decisions are made by the CEO and board of directors. The board is made of industry leaders and share holders. share holders vote on the board to make major decisions and to elect corporate officers (CEO, CFO, CTO, EIEIO, etc.). A hostile take over is when a company starts to purchase as many voting shares as possible in order to gain control of the board. It is typically done by offering a greater than market value price for the shares. Most share holders don't have their blood sweat and tears into the company. It is an investment for the. When given the option to cash out and make a bunch of money they will. So, Oracle is putting up a huge amount of money to try to buy the shares from those willing to sell. It is hostile because oracle isn't really buying the company. It is buying control of the board. If it works Oracle will have control of the company and will be able to appoint its own board and CEO.
    • Corporations are owned by shareholders. They are run day to day by managers supervised by a board of directors. A hostile takeover is one where the managers and the board of directors do not want to be bought but the purchaser buys them anyways, simply by buying shares from the shareholders.

    • you offer to buy shares above the price they are traded on the open market.
      once you have more than 50% you control the company, so decided that it should merge with your company, or die, or whatever
  • by nounderscores (246517) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:00PM (#6140441)
    The Roman Takeover of Gaul

    Read the pricewaterhouse coopers analysis [pwc.com]

    and this other commentary [endlessrealms.com]

    ____________________________________
    The Spiders are coming [e-sheep.com]
  • by reporter (666905) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:07PM (#6140464) Homepage
    The key quote in the article, "PeopleSoft calls Oracle bid 'atrocious' [com.com]", is the following.
    The corporate cultures of Oracle and PeopleSoft couldn't be farther apart, according to some former employees. Oracle is a haven for aggressive personalities who thrive on intense competition. To motivate the sales staff, managers have posted an individual's progress in achieving his or her sales goals on the wall during quarterly meetings. The competitive atmosphere leads to routine reorganizations. By contrast, PeopleSoft, founded by a Cornell University graduate, Dave Duffield, projects a Hewlett Packard-like image of being more collegial. The sales staff often relies on customer recommedations to complete a deal. To some extent, this was necessary because the applications market had already been well established by Oracle and SAP by the time PeopleSoft emerged.

    Instead of looking at this acquisition from a purely rational, coldly analytical perspective, we should and must begin to look at the quality of the lives of the employees. I would prefer to work for an organization like PeopleSoft. It is an organization that cares.

    Oracle is cut from the same cloth as Sun, Siebel, and Cisco. Brutal, cut-throat, survival of the fittest. Increasingly, with the influx of H-1B's and "free" trade, American companies are becoming the ruthless of ogres of the early part of the 20th century. Most of my American colleagues do not want an America where employees are savaged. We gladly accept a small reduction of economic expansion in exchange for a kindler and gentler American workplace and society.

    It is this kindler and gentler America that has drawn tens of millions of immigrants to this country.

    We shareholders should oppose this hostile takeover and send Larry Ellison back to the Orient that he so admires.

    • by bug506 (584796) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:36PM (#6140576) Homepage
      The problem with this quote is that it refers to the sales force.

      As a developer in the server technologies division of Oracle, I'd have to say that I don't see the "intense competition" that is mentioned. Within my group of about 50-100 (that is, all of the people below the closest VP), there is a true spirit of cooperation. If I have a problem with a specific line of code or a new technology I am learning, there are many other people on the team who are willing to help (just as I am willing to help them), even if they are not working on the same project as me. I know it sounds idealistic, but that's what the real situation is in development.

      This cooperation even extends to the H-1Bs, and all of the other recent immigrants with whom I work. I'm one of the few people in my group that was born in America and speaks English natively. However, I look at having this diversity in the group as a positive and not a negative as it brings different viewpoints to technical discussions and makes non-technical discussions a little more interesting.

      Now, sometimes there is a level of competition between teams, as each team thinks it knows the best approach to a given problem. But that is healthy, and it forces a detailed refinement of the approaches so that the "higher ups" can make a decision regarding which approach is most appropriate.

      So, I can't speak for the sales force, but I don't know if the development cultures are as different as the quote suggests.
    • Instead of looking at this acquisition from a purely rational, coldly analytical perspective, we should and must begin to look at the quality of the lives of the employees. I would prefer to work for an organization like PeopleSoft. It is an organization that cares.

      Oracle is cut from the same cloth as Sun, Siebel, and Cisco. Brutal, cut-throat, survival of the fittest. Increasingly, with the influx of H-1B's and "free" trade, American companies are becoming the ruthless of ogres of the early part of the 2

    • Oracle is cut from the same cloth as Sun, Siebel, and Cisco. Brutal, cut-throat, survival of the fittest. Increasingly, with the influx of H-1B's and "free" trade, American companies are becoming the ruthless of ogres of the early part of the 20th century. Most of my American colleagues do not want an America where employees are savaged. We gladly accept a small reduction of economic expansion in exchange for a kindler and gentler American workplace and society.

      Companies should always look for ways to be

      • "a) Start your own damn company and be nice to everybody. That's the beauty of capitalism."

        I agree with you(ektor) 100%. It only costs $50 to start a corporation in Colorado. It may cost more or less in other states but not by much.

        "We gladly accept a small reduction of economic expansion in exchange for a kindler and gentler American workplace and society."

        If that's the case, start a corporation with the motto "Our first priority is kindler and gentler American workplace and society, not profits."

        Sin
    • Are there any non-immigrants in America?

      I would try to count no-immigrants, but the rest of them all live in Indian reservations.

      Well, I am glad that H1B stream is almost stopped (at first politically, only after - economically) and now the big business is outsourcing everything offshore. Now, people in India, China, Russia etc can appreciate America's kindness locally, with improvement of their local life without killing their personal culture (that what they would have to do otherwise in the culturele

      • Are there any non-immigrants in America? I would try to count no-immigrants, but the rest of them all live in Indian reservations.

        Well, the Indians didn't exactly grow out of the ground, either - they probably arrived in America via Siberia and Alaska about 10000 years ago. But in this case, Europeans are immigrants in Europe, too, etc. The more correct definition is, that an immigrant is anyone living in a country where he wasn't born. A Mexican who has left Mexico for USA is an immigrant, but her child

    • It is this kindler and gentler America that has drawn tens of millions of immigrants to this country.

      I doubt this. Most immigrants in the past century have come because they could get a higher standard of living in America, or because they were seeking asylum from some sort of persecution. Compared to Western Europe, America is hardly kind and gentle. There are relatively few laws on employment here, which keeps minimum wage, job security, and workers' rights low. If you come to America for economic rea

  • by stefanlasiewski (63134) * <{moc.ocnafets} {ta} {todhsals}> on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:09PM (#6140473) Homepage Journal
    How would the Oracle purchase of Peoplesoft affect Linux? Oracle has been pushing Linux for a while. Peoplesoft is mostly installed on Windows (apparently Peoplesoft has pretty spotty support for Linux & Solaris).

    A number of large businesses and private and public universities in the SF Bay Area have been installing Peoplesoft. The name "Peoplesoft" keeps coming up in discussions, and is usually accompanied by some cussing by the people who use it.

    IIRC, UC Berkeley and Cal State Hayward are both moving from their inhouse solutions to Peoplesoft for the student record database (Causing many headaches among the students and staff). I've talked to some Unix admins at both places who griping about having to learn Windows and Peoplesoft.

    These Universities are cutting budgets, but are still spending money on hardware, Windows licences, staff, training, training, and more training to accomodate the new Peoplesoft solution. The HR dept says this will save them lots of money.

    But if Oracle takes ownership of Peoplesoft, will we see more Linux support in the future?
    • According to this article [forbes.com], PeopleSoft is already to jump on the Linux bandwagon...

      As far as the cussing associated with PeopleSoft, I am very sympathetic. :) But, as someone who has worked with both PeopleSoft and Oracle's ERP suite, I can safely say that there is plenty of swearing going on thanks to Oracle.

      The implementation makes all the difference... Both can be great application, or huge headaches depending on how they are done.
    • I think Oracle on Windows is just a way for Ellison to make some more money.

      Larry Ellison hates Bill Gates and probably sees himself as some ancient-samuari whose job it is to vanquish Gates. Support for Linux means that someone who has a PC doesn't have to run it on Windows now.

      It may even spur on the forthcoming peoplesoft Linux support.
    • No.

      Sorry.

      PSFT offers its apps suite on Linux (albeit very recently). Oracle, AFAIK, does not. SAP does. JD Edwards does not.

      Open source is not a real issue. Business applications (aka enterprise applications) are built over a long period by people with intimate business experience. Or at least experience they think is intimate with business.

      There is little technical challenge associated with writing an accounts recievable package. But, in theory at least, understaning AR (i.e. being an accountant) is im
    • A number of large businesses and private and public universities in the SF Bay Area have been installing Peoplesoft. The name "Peoplesoft" keeps coming up in discussions, and is usually accompanied by some cussing by the people who use it.

      A couple of years ago, I was contracting for a mining research center which shall remain nameless, and they were blessed (read: bent over and took one for the team) with a peoplesoft setup forced from the head office.

      "Some cussing" does not start to describe some of

  • by wareadams (185080) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:16PM (#6140493)
    I've been wondering what this would mean for the MySQL/SAP deal announced a week or so ago.

    To date SAP has wanted to be agnostic to the underlying database that their software runs on, so you could view the MySQL deal as a nice headline but not really something that was going to have SAP's salesforce pushing MySQL into enterprise customers.... They'd be just as happy if those customers ran Oracle as long as they ran SAP on top of it.

    However, if Oracle owns PeopleSoft they suddenly become SAP's largest competitor. As soon as that happens a major SAP infrastructure provider is now the enemy, and SAP might suddenly have reason to push another solution vs. allowing the customer to choose. After the deal with MySQL that solution might well be MySQL.
    • However, if Oracle owns PeopleSoft they suddenly become SAP's largest competitor. As soon as that happens a major SAP infrastructure provider is now the enemy, and SAP might suddenly have reason to push another solution vs. allowing the customer to choose. After the deal with MySQL that solution might well be MySQL.

      Yeah, except Oracle is already a major player in this market.

    • SAP has a deal with DB2 [theregister.co.uk]... Not that IBM and SAP are huge buddies either. But there are lots of options out there if you want to spite someone.
    • However, if Oracle owns PeopleSoft they suddenly become SAP's largest competitor. As soon as that happens a major SAP infrastructure provider is now the enemy
      Oracle is already a huge competitor to SAP in the ERP space.
  • by Jackson (87371) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:17PM (#6140500)
    Faced with the need for an ERP program, traditionally you could hire some programmers, wait a couple of years for them to create the software, and see if it worked, or was a big disaster.

    Or, you could purchase from Oracle, Peoplesoft. Datatel, SCT, etc, gamble a lot of money, maybe discover you have to change your business processes to fit the software, and in a couple of years you may be .... kind of up and running.

    I worry that if Oracle buys Peoplesoft, we lose a choice, such as it is. It's already a complex dynamic, and this may make the choices a bit more narrow.
  • Company for Sale (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arandir (19206) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:21PM (#6140514) Homepage Journal
    When you offer your company for sale, you have only yourself to blame when someone makes a bid to buy it. And offering your company for sale is exactly what you're doing when you issue stock.

    I have no sympathy for companies that want to be publicly traded corporations but then pretend that they're a private firm.
  • by LibertineR (591918) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:45PM (#6140601)
    PeopleSoft runs mostly on Microsoft Servers. The thought of losing a potential revenue stream might cause Ballmer to dip into petty cash and settle this argument overnight. Oracle is not going to integrate PeopleSoft; they are buying a customer list and less competition, in addition to kicking a few more thousand geeks to the curb.

    Microsoft could pick them up, keep them as a separate line of business, with management autonomy and shareholders would go for that in a heartbeat. This could turn out to be a very bad move by Oracle. If Microsoft so mch as raised an eyebrow, Oracle stock goes down, making the aquisition more expensive even if Microsoft doesnt play. I see a lot of ways that Oracle could end up regretting this big time.
    • At a Federal site I worked at, we used PeopleSoft on Oracle and Solaris. From everything I heard there, nobody runs PeopleSoft on Windows unless it is the development client or a test system. That was two years ago and I could have heard a biased opinion, but my impression was that Microsoft is still playing catchup in the ERP realm.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2003 @07:48PM (#6140611)
    Oracle, the DB, is fine, but that's not the part that competes with PeopleSoft. That would be Oracle, the business application suite [oracle.com].

    At two previous jobs I used PeopleSoft's suite and found it lacking. At one I did a bit of reverse engineering on the database, and I had perl scripts generating better reports than their $x million software, which also crashed daily. (Nobody seemed to know exactly what x was, but afaict everybody who had to do with the decision to use PeopleSoft no longer worked there. Which might tell you something.) Oh, and for all the article's 'PeopleSoft is (used to be) a caring company' lines, I can assure you that once they have your money they don't care the slightest about their customers, even when you're still paying for service.

    On the other hand, during that same period, I talked to a number of people about Oracle's suite (Oracle E-Business Suite, OEBS) as a potential replacement. There are lots of sites talking about all the money and time people save using OEBS, just as there are for PeopleSoft. But every person I actually talked to said, essentially, that it was crap and they regretted it, but don't tell anyone.

    So, I guess my point is that both of them are basically crap software that got their reputation because no public company would ever admit to their shareholders that their well-researched software decision was a multi-million dollar disaster. So they deserve each other.

    And on that note, I think I'm going to post this anonymously, since even though it's all true libel suites are time consuming.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The company I work has recently decided to drop Oracle Applications (10.7) and move to JD Edwards. It would be ironic to spend all this money on a business system change only to us back where we started. It seems like Oracle probably won't succeed with the manuever, but it's fun to speculate.
      As for the quality of the apps, I've learned two important things:
      1. There's no magic bullet. Don't expect a generic business system solve your needs.
      2. Consultants are evil (usually). Don't let consultants completel
    • "But every person I actually talked to said, essentially, that it was crap and they regretted it, but don't tell anyone."

      I spent 6 years working on and around Oracle 10.6 - 11i on HPUX. Since then I've spent 2.5 years doing essentially the same with/for J.D. Edwards OneWorld on iSeries (AS/400).

      It's all crap. However, it's the best available crap. The fact is that the products in this market are all infants. They represent the best of what is currently possible in large scale (big understatement there
    • Our parent entity moved to Peoplesoft a couple of years ago, which was basically good for us as it enabled us to stop using the DOS application from 1991 that we were still using.

      While on a business trip to Orange County I ran into a "Peoplesoft struggles" newspaper article that detailed some horror stories I'd heard about Peoplesoft at the University of Minnesota and other Big 10 schools.

      Essentially the University and the other schools were teaming up to tell Peoplesoft that it didn't work, they wouldn't
  • I am (Score:5, Informative)

    by CptChipJew (301983) * <michaelmiller@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Saturday June 07, 2003 @08:07PM (#6140659) Homepage Journal
    A PeopleSoft employee, and I can tell you that we aren't selling to Oracle.

    Acquiring JD Edwards is going to make us #2 in the field, and Oracle #3, which is why Ellison wants to take us over, kill our product, and terminate all of our jobs.

    Craig Conway (PeopleSoft CEO) has already told all of us that he won't let "Ellison kill PeopleSoft".

    On top of all that, the offer made to PeopleSoft by Oracle per share is now lower than the price it's trading at. Take that into account, plus what the company will be worth after acquiring J.D. Edwards, and Oracle won't be able to convince the shareholders to go along with it.
    • Re:I am (Score:3, Insightful)

      A PeopleSoft employee, and I can tell you that we aren't selling to Oracle.


      Unfortunately, it's out of your control. Even Craig Conway has limited control over what will happen, the choice belongs to the stockholders. If Oracle can buy > 50% of the stock, Conway is gone.

      But good luck to you.

    • Actually. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by juuri (7678) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @11:05PM (#6141295) Homepage
      You had best start looking anyways, regardless if the bid goes through or not the additional information the mass business public has gleaned on the purchase of JDE is going to severely tarnish PeopleSoft. You guys will now work REALLY hard to make sales because people are going to be iffy on your future. After the of JDE aquisition you won't be #2 for long if you are even are when the merger is completely done. Oracle has been really smart with this, it is win-win for them.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday June 07, 2003 @08:33PM (#6140774) Homepage Journal
    From working with both companies owith their 'erp' applications, neither is anything to write home about.

    Both were poorly managed, *not* user friendly and had MAJOR cost over-runs. ( in our case in the millions of dollars, mainly due to overselling on their part that borderlined on fraud in oracles case ), not to mention techincal issues right and left.

    Having them both under one roof .. eeek.

    Disclaimer, oracle project was 5 years ago, they might have improved since then, but i doubt it )

  • by marcushnk (90744) <[senectus] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday June 07, 2003 @08:44PM (#6140822) Journal
    I've used and managed an AS400 with JDE for the past 3.5 years.. and although I don't like the product I have respect for it..

    And I've had dealings with Oracles management..

    these guys do not fsck around.

    They are a VERY driven, powerful bunch of people who get what they want, and get it because they ain't afraid of stepping on toes.

    JDE needs to watch their step, cause these guys won't give up easily.
  • by offpath3 (604739) <offpath4@@@yahoo...co...jp> on Saturday June 07, 2003 @09:22PM (#6140945)
    People-soft is absolutely horrible. They took over a bunch of stuff at my school for handing checking grades, signing up for classes, etc, and there's been nothing but complaints. Their system is absolutely horrible and has all kinds of annoying restrictions placed on it. There's nothing like 13,000 people trying to sign up for classes or grades at the same time, but only 50 people are allowed to log on at once! Maybe Oracle can fix up such a poor excuse for a company.
    • Interesting you mention that. The University of Missouri system recently converted everything to peoplesoft, and so far I've heard nothing but four-letter words and other complaints uttered in the same breath as the word Peoplesoft (I'm a student at the Rolla campus). From what I've heard, there have been several lawsuits against Peoplesoft from various customers, yet we still moved everything to that knowing there have been problems. [offtopic]All I can do now is laugh about this...I hope Oracle does ta
      • Yeah, I can't say I've heard of anybody who is happy with peopelsoft. They accidentally made the phonenumbers and addresses of everybody in our system public, including everybody who marked themselves as private. My friend complained and all she got was an "oops... we'll try to have that fixed sometime within the month." The problem is that most people are resigned to it. Only the CS department _really_ knows that's not how it has to be.
  • Don't feel sorry for PeopleSoft or its CEO. In my opinion there is little within the bounds of legality that Ellison or Oracle could do to him or to PeopleSoft (whose board chose to hire him) that would be so bad that it would be beyond a kind of karmic what-goes-around-comes-around kind of payback.
  • by jordandeamattson (261036) <jordandm.gmail@com> on Saturday June 07, 2003 @11:00PM (#6141282) Homepage
    The reality is that Oracle and Peoplesoft have culturals as different as two companies can possibly be. Oracle is of the chewing them up and spit them out school. If Oracle has a soul, it is a very dark one. On the other hand, Peoplesoft has a soul and it is a soul which - how every imperfectly - trys to care for the employees while still calling forth the best from its employees.

    If Oracle were to make this hostile bid come to fruition, the majority of Peoplesoft employees would be heading for the door as quickly as possible. The end result would be a pile of IP in Oracle's hands, but not any of the people that can take that IP and extend it and bring value from it.

    Of course, the Larry Ellison isn't going to see it that way. Rather, he is seeing that I can take these two pieces and put them together and they will work the way that I anticipate. Why? Because everyone works the way he expects - or he gets rid of them, the list of folks that have bailed out of Oracle due to Larry is very long - and that is just the way it will work out in his world. He isn't going to think about culturally compatibility. But then again that is true of most CEOs trying to build empires. Why do you think that most mergers end up being failures?
  • rkuris writes "Oracle has launched a 5.1 billion dollar cash hostle takeover bid against Peoplesoft.

    I did not even realize PeopleSoft ran hostles, yet alone had 5.1 billion dollars worth of them!

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