Oracle's Catz Clarifies Position On PeopleSoft's J.D. Edwards Line

That's the first official message to come out of Oracle regarding its intentions for PeopleSoft's Enterprise One and World applications suites. The remarks came from Oracle President Safra Catz, who has spearheaded the takeover efforts since the beginning, in a last-minute addition to the schedule at Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco.

"One reason we've been in a hurry is we've been concerned about the state of the J.D. Edwards intellectual properties," Catz told a packed room of journalists, partners and customers. "We are hearing about a lot of J.D. Edwards resumes on the street -- people being let go by PeopleSoft. And we want to maintain as many folks as we can. Our big worry is the intellectual property and development organization at JDEC, and our hope is it is still in a position where we can maintain it."

While Catz has said previously that Oracle will likely lay off more than 6,000 PeopleSoft employees if it succeeds, she said Tuesday that Oracle is placing a big emphasis on retaining PeopleSoft's entire development organization. Toward that end, Oracle will retain facilities in the Pleasanton, Calif., site of PeopleSoft's headquarters.

Catz also said that Oracle would not eliminate J. D. Edwards applications from the PeopleSoft portfolio.

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"We have no intention of spinning off Enterprise One or any of the products," Catz said. "We will bring them in, evaluate the state of the code and bring it, ultimately into a converged product line. We have no intention of spinning them off."

In addition, Catz clarified Oracle's commitment to support PeopleSoft Enterprise applications for 10 years. As it turns out, that 10-year period started its count-down last year, when Oracle made its first public statement regarding support.

Oracle expects Judge Leo Strine, presiding judge of the Delaware Chancery Court, to rule regarding PeopleSoft's poison pill in January.

"Poison pills are rarely pulled -- the last time one was pulled was in the '80s," Catz said. "But we believe if there was ever a case to do it, this is it. We expect ultimately to be successful."