After 18 arduous months, Oracle can finally take its victory lap. On December 14, PeopleSoft's board agreed to a $10.3 billion takeover offer that will change the dynamics of the business applications market forever. But before the dust settles on this deal, there are still a lot of questions to be answered. SearchCRM.com asked the industry's top experts to share their predictions about what the future holds for the so-called "OracleSoft."
By Bob Thompson, president, CustomerThink Corp.
Finally, it's over. When the Oracle/PeopleSoft saga started (when was that, 1980?) I predicted Ellison would eventually catch his prey. But, while this deal may be good for Oracle, and Ellison is probably right that consolidation is inevitable for the maturing enterprise applications business, it's not a good day for customers. Less choice, less competition, and lingering questions about what Oracle will do for PeopleSoft's customer base. On a brighter CRM note, the combination gives Oracle a real shot at becoming a top 3 player, after Siebel and SAP. But focus and execution will be key, and that hasn't exactly been Oracle's strong point in recent years.
By Paul Greenberg, president, The 56 Group, LLC. and author of CRM at the Speed of Light
I lament the passing of PeopleSoft, regardless of the increased offer to stockholders.. While it may be a good deal for shareholders, I'm concerned about the integration of the two very different cultures that PeopleSoft and Oracle represent. Each company has great strengths with their products and certainly, if Larry Ellison can be trusted, with a development focused environment, PeopleSoft products could get better though they had a great development team. Regardless of spin, I'm sorry it happened. The competitive landscape in CRM will be changed with only three companies left - and each with a distinct direction. Siebel - who is moving to a strategic view of CRM, coupled with a recognition of the enterprise value chain that the customer ecosystem demands through the release of their very good pure play analytics; SAP who, through Shai Agassi, is moving toward a more platform-centric strategy with NetWeaver at the core of its brand and its offerings; and the new OracleSoft which I would guess will move toward a very process-centric approach since both companies have been headed in that direction anyway. See ya, PeopleSoft.
By Paul Sweeney, president of the Sweeney Group Inc.
I expect the immediate impact of the PeopleSoft/Oracle announcement will be to put the brakes on most pending PeopleSoft sales transactions while the news is digested by potential buyers and the CRM community. This will be followed by an increase in vendor viability risk analysis by CRM buyers, and by a flurry of marketing messages from existing vendors attempting to drive timid buyers to their products. Shortly thereafter, the market will return to "business as usual", however that is defined.