PeopleSoft moves to integrate J.D. Edwards after acquisition

The combined company will continue to develop three lines of applications

PeopleSoft Inc. yesterday disclosed the initial details of its plan for integrating its products and operations with those of onetime rival J.D. Edwards & Co., saying that links between the business applications developed by the two vendors will be made available 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 J.D. Edwards' green-screen applications for IBM AS/400 systems; PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne, a midmarket offering built around J.D. Edwards' newer J.D. Edwards 5 software; and PeopleSoft Enterprise, a high-end suite that gives a new name to the existing PeopleSoft 8 technology.

PeopleSoft, which is still fighting a hostile takeover bid by Oracle Corp., completed its acquisition of Denver-based J.D. Edwards late last month. The company plans to continue developing all of the products from both sides of the deal, said PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway.

"This was never intended as a consolidation play," he said.

But Ram Gupta, PeopleSoft's executive vice president of products and technology, said there will be some blending of applications. For instance, J.D. Edwards' CRM applications will be able to exploit PeopleSoft's call center software, Gupta said. In addition, PeopleSoft is building hooks to several of J.D. Edwards' application modules 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 J.D. Edwards. More detailed product information is due to be released later this month at PeopleSoft's Connect 2003 user conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Mark Federle, CIO at The Weitz Co., a Des Moines-based construction contractor, said he's looking forward to hearing about PeopleSoft's plans firsthand at the conference. But Weitz, whose company uses J.D. Edwards' OneWorld XE suite, said he's also glad to hear of PeopleSoft's commitment to maintaining the J.D. Edwards software as a separate product line and to upgrading the applications through the integration plan.

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 Corp. in Conshohocken, Pa. The chemicals maker 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 involving marketing and middle management jobs. There won't be any cutbacks in research and development or among consultants and quota-carrying sales personnel, he said.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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