PeopleSoft missed but user says meeting worth it

The Australian and New Zealand Quest JD Edwards user conference in Melbourne last month was a success, despite the absence of PeopleSoft.

The Australian and New Zealand Quest JD Edwards user conference in Melbourne last month was a success, despite the absence of PeopleSoft.

That’s the view of John Davies, a conference attendee and application team leader at Natural Gas Corporation, a user of JDE products before the takeover of JDE by PeopleSoft last year.

“The feedback was positive, but they [PeopleSoft] were missed.”

Earlier this year PeopleSoft pulled out of all conferences held by Quest, a JDE user organisation, because of disagreements with the Quest board over the terms and conditions of its support.

Historically JD Edwards supported Quest conferences by providing guest speakers and promotional material, but following its acquisition of JDE last year that mantle passed to PeopleSoft.

Davies, who is treasurer for Quest Australasia, says this year’s conference “was more of a user conference in the true sense. There was no vendor hype, but we had the usual exhibitors and it was all positive.

“One thing we missed was the JDE view of the world, noting all the new functions.”

It would be nice to see PeopleSoft involved in future Quest conferences in Australasia, he says. “Quest has the infrastructure in place to run conferences and people will benefit if Quest and PeopleSoft are in the same place.”

PeopleSoft has said it wants to support its own Connect user conference, which is held annually in the US, and doesn’t believe users should be represented by a fee-based organisation like Quest, which charges $A370 a year for individual membership.

PeopleSoft NZ national sales manager Andy Batchelor says the vendor’s ICAB (international customer advisory board) looked at PeopleSoft’s user group model last year in light of the JDE acquisition and polled members.

“ICAB, which has three Quest directors on its board, decided there should be one user group globally and put that model to Quest. PeopleSoft can’t support multiple user group models.”

According to Quest’s US-based board, disagreements over how PeopleSoft would support any future Quest conferences also played a part in its decision. Quest has accused PeopleSoft of wanting to vet Quest’s communications with members and wanted Quest to retract a statement saying PeopleSoft would support future Quest conferences.

Davies says it boils down to a difference in the culture of JDE and PeopleSoft.

“JDE was more customer- and technology-focused and PeopleSoft is more sales-focused. The two organisations had a slightly different view [of user group policy].”

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