PeopleSoft? Oracle? Who Loves Ya, Baby?


What's with all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing over the potential takeover of poor PeopleSoft by Big Bad Oracle? Get a grip, people!

Since Oracle launched its very hostile bid for PeopleSoft 15 months ago, PeopleSofties from CEO Craig Conway on down have vilified Larry Ellison and Oracle as the death of good customer service. But PeopleSoft has hardly covered itself in glory on that front. Just ask the poor working schlubs at Harvard University who went without paychecks or were mistakenly laid off during a PeopleSoft implementation a few years back. More recently, take a gander at the Boston Globe's account of a UMass registration snafu, dubbed a "logistical nightmare" by one professor and attributed to a botched PeopleSoft upgrade. Or look at this account of a similar mess at Indiana University. With "customer sat" like this, who needs project failures?

Oracle has earned its reputation for notoriously heavy-handed sales tactics and for wringing every last cent out of customers. But at least Oracle and chief honcho Larry are wolves in wolves' clothing. No hypocrisy there. PeopleSoft, on the other hand, is seen by many as a sheep in similar garb.

Enough on that rant. Moving on...

The continuing reverbs from Microsoft's latest failure to produce its long-promised unified OS/file system in the Longhorn client have many partners and customers laughing--or crying. (BTW, another Longhorn news site has surfaced at Longhornblogs.com.)

"It's a disaster. What does this say about Bill Gates as Chief Software Architect?" asks one longtime reseller partner. Of course, he says this on a "not-for-attribution" basis. On the record, this guy--as well as multitudes of other Microsoft partners--has nothing but encouraging words to say about Microsoft's decision to pull back on this grand scheme one more time.

One can only hope these folks are telling Microsoft privately what they really think. Otherwise, Microsoft is in a bell jar and not getting the feedback it needs (and deserves).

Not even this company, which has turned sows ears into silk purses for years, can expect to do so forever. The whole litany of "bugs are features" and slippage of promised functions is "addition by subtraction," blah, blah, blah, can only work so long. Corporate credibility is truly on the line.