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PeopleSoft CEO blasts Ellison's 'jealousy'

Craig Conway says his company will beat leader SAP, but stays mostly mum on Oracle's ongoing takeover attempt.

Almost one year after the acquisition of J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway claims his company is still on course to topple SAP from its No. 1 position in the enterprise applications market.

Speaking at the annual PeopleSoft Leadership Summit user conference in London, Conway also dismissed Oracle's hostile takeover bid, saying Oracle's Larry Ellison is "overwhelmed with jealousy."

"Everyone loved the acquisition except Oracle," he said.

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That comment aside, the Oracle bid remained off the agenda, with PeopleSoft executives under strict orders not to remark on the subject while the U.S. Department of Justice court case is ongoing.

SAP CEO Henning Kagermann also came in for criticism from Conway, who claimed SAP has hijacked PeopleSoft's "flexibility and adaptability" slogan for its own software.

"It's like George Bush talking about how well-liked he is outside of the United States," Conway said. "(Kagermann) can say it but it isn't true."

"We will be the largest provider of enterprise applications in the world."
--Craig Conway, CEO of PeopleSoft

Conway said SAP's market lead is under real threat following the PeopleSoft acquisition of J.D. Edwards and compared the battle with airline manufacturer Airbus' steady challenge that saw it overtake the dominant Boeing.

"We're gaining market share every year against SAP," Conway said. "We will be the largest provider of enterprise applications in the world."

Like all the major enterprise software companies, PeopleSoft is talking up its "midmarket" strategy to tap into the IT budgets of small and medium-size enterprises.

"There wasn't an incentive for midsize companies (to use enterprise application software) until now," Conway said. "It is imperative for midsize companies to have the same technology that is available to large companies. They are part of the same ecosystem."

Also unveiled at the conference was new customer BT. Globally, about 100,000 employees of the British telecommunications giant will use PeopleSoft's HR package. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Andy McCue of reported from London.