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Microsoft goes after PeopleSoft customers

An e-mail suggests that PeopleSoft customers think about a shift in face of Oracle's acquisition, CNET News.com has learned.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
2 min read
A top Microsoft executive is warning PeopleSoft customers that they might want to think about a technology shift, now that Oracle's acquisition has been approved.

"Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft may be moving forward, but difficult technology decisions lie ahead," Microsoft vice president Bill Veghte wrote Wednesday in the e-mail, which was seen by CNET News.com. "The ongoing challenges of owning and maintaining business applications remain unchanged."

Bill Veghte
VP, Microsoft

Much of the letter focuses on the options that customers have to move their PeopleSoft installation onto Windows from other platforms, but the letter also noted that some customers might want to switch from PeopleSoft to another vendor, such as SAP or Microsoft.

"Migration to another ERP solution, including Microsoft Business Solutions, SAP and other partner ERP solutions on the Microsoft platform, are additional options available to PeopleSoft customers seeking greater clarity around technology direction and platform alignment," Veghte said. "The Microsoft platform continues to gain momentum as the platform of choice for industry-leading ERP vendors."

An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment on Veghte's letter, as did a spokesman for PeopleSoft.

A months-long battle over the deal ended Monday, when PeopleSoft agreed to be acquired by Oracle for more than $10 billion. For months, PeopleSoft had rebuffed Oracle's bid, and the Justice Department had sought to block the deal on antitrust grounds.

Microsoft had testified on behalf of the government in its challenge to the merger, saying the company did not intend to compete with PeopleSoft in the market for large companies' business software and that its ambitions were focused instead on software for smaller and midsize businesses. Microsoft also revealed that it had held merger talks with SAP in the wake of Oracle's bid for PeopleSoft.

A good part of Veghte's letter Wednesday focused on getting PeopleSoft customers to consider migrating from IBM AS/400 and mainframe systems to Windows-based servers. Earlier this week, Microsoft launched a marketing initiative with several partners that aims to win over business from customers using AS/400 and IBM iSeries servers.

In particular, Microsoft also talked about the benefits of switching to Windows for customers that use Oracle's database software on Unix systems.

"Changing platforms away from Unix, AS/400 and mainframe systems toward Intel-based systems running Microsoft Windows and SQL Server can help you lower application cost and complexity," Veghte wrote, saying insurance group ACE saved 15 percent on total costs by shifting from a Unix-based Oracle environment to Windows-based servers.