January 18, 2005 1:51 PM PST
In wake of takeover, Oracle unveils product plans
In a presentation Tuesday for analysts, customers and reporters, the database giant addressed some of the concerns that have been weighing on the minds of PeopleSoft customers, and offered a glimpse into how Oracle plans to move forward following the close of the $10.3 billion buy.
Throughout his presentation, Larry Ellison, Oracle's chief executive, stressed "continuity" as though it were a mantra.
"If you're an existing Oracle, PeopleSoft or J.D. Edwards customer, continuity is very important to us," he said. "We'll preserve your investment in PeopleSoft, we'll preserve your investment in J.D. Edwards, and we'll preserve your investment in Oracle. Our intent is not only to support the current PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards and Oracle products into the next decade, but we also plan to continue to enhance those products for years to come."
Ellison said Oracle can juggle four balls at once: development and support of PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Oracle products, as well as a combination product currently being called "Project Fusion."
"In addition to continuing the development of three existing product lines, we will develop a combined product of J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft and Oracle to build a super suite of applications, if you will," Ellison said. "We are a large company (and) have the wherewithal to continue development of three product lines while developing a successor, (a) merged product."
CEO Larry Ellison lays out the future of the combined companies.
Since it became clear the deal would go through, customers of the former PeopleSoft have been anxious to hear how and whether Oracle would support its products. On Tuesday, executives attempted to soothe those fears.
Plans call for products of the former PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards to have more than 3,000 developers working on continued development of those tools, though those developers will also work on Project Fusion, the combination product. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 developers will handle Oracle products, while also working on the combination product.
Oracle announced Friday it would retain 90 percent of PeopleSoft's development and support staff, even though it was cutting 5,000 jobs from the combined company.
Ellison and a handful of other executives speaking at Tuesday's event emphasized the scale of the combined company, which together employs nearly 50,000 workers, supports 23,000 applications customers and has 1,300 applications partners.
Its new size should help the company compete better with big rivals, namely Germany's SAP.
Oracle President Charles Phillips, who spoke after Ellison, said the company will not let transition work related to the acquisition distract it from taking good care of customers.
"We're externally focused and open for business," Phillips said. "It's more important that we solve your needs."
Staying friends with IBM
Phillips also pledged to nurture new partners gained in the merger, including IBM--an Oracle foe in the database software market. Specifically, some future Oracle products will run on IBM's iSeries server software line, he said.
"Our partnership with IBM will hopefully get a lot better going forward," Phillips said.
Ellison said that current plans call for completing development on PeopleSoft Enterprise 8.9 this year, which will then be followed by the
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