PeopleSoft turns attention to integration, rollouts

FRAMINGHAM (09/15/2003) - PeopleSoft Inc. this week will introduce a series of products and disclose more details of its road map for integrating J.D. Edwards & Co. into its operations. But also looming over the company's annual user conference will be the specter of Oracle Corp.'s hostile bid to buy PeopleSoft.

At the Connect 2003 conference, which starts Monday in Anaheim, Calif., PeopleSoft plans to focus on its support for real-time integration that lets companies rapidly distribute financial data and other information that's key to end users in different departments.

Rick Bergquist, PeopleSoft's chief technology officer, said the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company will also announce software enhancements designed to help IT managers install its applications more quickly and extend them to both internal end users and business partners.

For example, PeopleSoft will roll out a tool that can help automate the application installation process, Bergquist said. Another new tool will be able to automatically connect to PeopleSoft's systems and download the latest software patches, eliminating the need for IT workers to handle that process manually.

The Connect conference comes two weeks after PeopleSoft revealed initial plans for combining its operations with Denver-based J.D. Edwards, which it bought late last month in a friendly acquisition.

John Schindler, CIO at Kichler Lighting in Cleveland, said he's heading to Connect to get some technical tips and learn about upgrading to PeopleSoft 8.8, the vendor's latest applications release.

Schindler added that he expects PeopleSoft to fend off Oracle's unsolicited takeover bid. "I believe the threat of Oracle being successful is very low," he said.

Also this week, the independent Oracle Applications Users Group will hold its annual North American conference in San Diego. Arthur Hunt, president of the Atlanta-based OAUG and operations manager at Yale University, said Oracle's grab for PeopleSoft is also likely to be a hot topic at the OAUG event.

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