Oracle: hands off our customers

SAP should forget plans to steal former PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers from Oracle, a senior executive from the latter company said last month.

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By  Peter Branton Published  June 5, 2005

SAP should forget plans to steal former PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers from Oracle, a senior executive from the latter company said last month. Speaking at an Oracle customer event in London, Juan Rada, senior vice president, applications and industries for Oracle EMEA, said the company has strong plans in place for its new customers. Since Oracle completed its takeover of PeopleSoft last year, SAP and Microsoft have repeatedly targeted former PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers with incentive schemes to move to their platforms. Last month, SAP was reported to have launched a similar scheme for customers of Oracle’s latest acquisition, Retek, promising ‘safe harbour’ for customers that switched over. “What SAP forgets is that these customers had the chance to choose SAP already and they decided to go with solutions from PeopleSoft or JD Edwards,” Rada told IT Weekly. “They’ve had the chance, they’ve already said they don’t want to go with SAP, so why would they go now?” “You also have to bear in mind that you are talking about switching over enterprise-wide applications, which is an enormous amount of work,” Rada added. In the Middle East, Oracle has been working closely with former PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers to ensure that they are well briefed on developments, according to Ayman Abouseif, Oracle’s senior marketing director for the region. “We’ve tried very hard to minimise the disruption caused to customers,” he said. Oracle began customer briefings as soon as the acquisition was completed (see IT Weekly 5-11 February), with all customers being contacted by phone by mid-February. Those customers who requested it were then visited personally, which allowed Oracle to address any issues they may have. In support terms, customers were receiving the same level of support, delivered by the same methods they were using before, Abouseif said. Longer term the aim was to transition web-based support to the Oracle site, but that is not anticipated to cause problems. “In fact, many of these customers were running their applications on the Oracle database anyway,” said Abouseif. “What will happen is they will have one URL to go to, instead of two, which will make life easier,” he added. Separately, analyst firm Gartner Group has praised SAP for its recently-announced initiatives to work more closely with partners to license components of its NetWeaver integration platform (see IT Weekly 28 May- 3 June 2005). However, it warned users to check the level of commitment by individual partners to the initiative, pointing out that none has signed an exclusive deal with SAP.

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