Microsoft woos PeopleSoft customers

Microsoft Corp. isn't wasting any time moving to scoop up worried or disgruntled PeopleSoft Inc. customers uncertain about the prospect of becoming part of Oracle Corp.'s installed base.

Only days after Oracle completed its accelerated takeover of PeopleSoft, Microsoft Business Solutions Monday announced a new effort to get users to migrate from PeopleSoft software to Microsoft products. The company said it would offer financial incentives as well as specialized consulting services to any interested PeopleSoft customer through June 22. The offer includes a 25 percent license discount and a 25 percent discount for support and enhancement programs for the first year.

"PeopleSoft customers need to make a decision on whether to ante up for another year on their maintenance contracts, and this often involves a fairly substantial financial investment," said Tami Reller, vice president of marketing for Microsoft Business Solutions. She argued that Microsoft can provide customers with more than just a minimum of support and has a clear and compelling product road map.

Customers who choose to take advantage of the program have to sign on with a local Microsoft partner and file the necessary paperwork to document they were doing business with PeopleSoft before its takeover by Oracle.

Among the program's components will be a strategic assessment service offered by partners to help customers decide about their migration, Reller said. Software tools will also be available to assist companies in the upgrade or migration.

Reller didn't have hard numbers about how many customers have already defected, but she said most of them were onetime J.D. Edwards & Co. customers. J.D. Edwards was bought out by PeopleSoft in 2003.

Microsoft is recommending that PeopleSoft World and PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne customers migrate to its Axapta suite, while North America-based PeopleSoft Enterprise users should standardize on its Great Plains ERP application.

Oracle had no comment Monday on the program.

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