No matter what the San Francisco court said, PeopleSoft Inc CEO Craig Conway is not ready to let the company fall into the hands of rival Oracle Corp yet.
Conway used PeopleSoft’s Connect user show yesterday to keep up the fighting rhetoric, and to announce a deep, broad technology and marketing partnership with IBM Corp that some say has strategic significance to the ongoing takeover battle.
Have you ever had a bad dream that just wouldn’t seem to end? Conway said during his keynote at the Connect show in San Francisco yesterday, prompting applause. Ours has been going on for 15 months.
The embattled CEO went on to list things that could scupper Oracle’s $7.7bn hostile bid, including the European Union antitrust investigation, PeopleSoft’s own lawsuit, and a possible Department of Justice appeal of the two-week-old US antitrust ruling.
While the Oracle fracas continues to command most of the interest in PeopleSoft, to the detriment of the firm’s sales, the company placed more emphasis yesterday on a significant multiyear partnership between itself and IBM.
PeopleSoft will standardize its enterprise applications on the IBM Websphere middleware platform, and the firms will joint market the systems. The deal, according to the companies, will see a joint investment of $1bn over five years.
PeopleSoft said it will integrate with and ship components of WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Business Integration, WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Studio Application Developer with its own applications.
PeopleSoft, unlike Oracle and SAP, does not offer its own middleware. The company has worked with IBM, which competes with Oracle in the database space and is seen as friendly to PeopleSoft’s takeover plight and touted as a potential white knight.
When asked during a press conference whether IBM would take an equity position in PeopleSoft, and whether IBM may be seen as a kinder alternative buyer to Oracle, Conway said No, laughed, and called for the next question.
The partnership also calls for the two companies to jointly market packages of their own and third-party software with IBM and PeopleSoft services in the financial services and telecommunications verticals.
They will also create a joint business process interoperability lab, which they said will be an industry first. Developers from both firms will test and certify application interoperability in real-world business environments to reduce the time and effort required for pre-testing new standards and application integrations.