PeopleSoft moves to mix apps after merger

PeopleSoft this week disclosed the initial details of its plan for integrating its products and operations with those of onetime rival JD Edwards & , saying that links between the two vendors' business applications will be made available starting in the fourth quarter.

Executives from Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft said at a meeting with financial analysts in New York that the company plans to maintain three separate lines of software: PeopleSoft World, which will consist of JD Edwards' green-screen applications for IBM AS/400 systems; PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne, a midmarket offering built around the newer JD Edwards 5 software; and PeopleSoft Enterprise, a high-end suite that gives a new name to PeopleSoft 8.

PeopleSoft, which is still trying to fight off a hostile takeover bid by Oracle , completed its acquisition of Denver-based JD Edwards late last month. The company plans to continue developing all of the products from both companies, said PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway. "This was never intended as a consolidation play," he added.

A Blended Approach

But Ram Gupta, PeopleSoft's executive vice president of products and technology, said there will be some blending of applications. For instance, JD Edwards' CRM applications will be able to exploit PeopleSoft's call centre software, Gupta said. In addition, hooks to several of JD Edwards' application modules are being built into PeopleSoft Enterprise.

Gupta said the application integration is being done through PeopleSoft's AppConnect middleware and integration broker technology, along with data-sharing and Web portal publishing capabilities that were developed by JD Edwards. More detailed product information is due to be released next week at PeopleSoft's Connect 2003 user conference in Anaheim, California.

Mark Federle, CIO at The Weitz , a Des Moines, Iowa-based construction contractor, said he's looking forward to hearing about PeopleSoft's plans at the conference. But Federle added that he was glad to hear of PeopleSoft's commitment to maintaining JD Edwards' software and to upgrading the applications through the integration plan. Weitz uses JD Edwards' OneWorld XE suite, a predecessor to JD Edwards 5.

Although PeopleSoft is showing good initial progress in the application integration effort, "we have to wait and see the practical actions," said Irving Tyler, CIO at Quaker Chemical in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania Quaker also uses OneWorld XE.

Kevin Parker, PeopleSoft's chief financial officer, said the combined company plans to reduce its 13,000-employee workforce by up to 1,000 people, with most of the layoffs affecting marketing and middle management jobs. There won't be any cutbacks in research and development or among quota-carrying sales and consulting personnel, he said.

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