Oracle, PeopleSoft In Court

Testifying in Delaware Chancery Court last week, PeopleSoft independent director Steven Goldby said if Oracle is willing to raise its offer, the company "would be open to discussions."

That admission, which came just days after former CEO Craig Conway's firing, put the nail in the coffin for PeopleSoft, solution providers said.

Still, while PeopleSoft may disappear, solution providers and their customers are hopeful that Oracle will continue to support the software.

PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne clients are not unduly spooked, said Paula Milano, president of solution provider Axion Solutions, Irvine, Calif. "We feel Oracle will continue to support and maintain those products for quite a bit of time," she said. "It's too much of an installed base for them to not support it."

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Roger Harris, general manager of MSS Technologies, Lakewood, Colo., concurred: "Even if the worst-case scenario happens, EnterpriseOne is so entrenched among manufacturers, distributors and home builders that it's not just going to go away."

Goldby's admission came during testimony in Oracle's case to remove PeopleSoft's so-called poison pill and Customer Assurance Program (CAP). To argue its case that they should be removed, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle is painting Conway as a CEO unchecked by PeopleSoft's board.

Oracle contends that after the intitial offer, Conway began to vilify Oracle, enacted a poison pill initiative that would inflate shares outstanding and installed the CAP initiative that could cost Oracle up to $2 billion should it stop supporting PeopleSoft products.

"It's just part of the dance. PeopleSoft will do all it can to raise its share price, and it's not clear to me that Oracle's at all worried about that," said Adam Honig, president of Akibia Consulting, a solution provider in Westborough, Mass. "When it's all done it'll be a great book."