RealTime IT News

PeopleSoft Support Groups Live On

PeopleSoft may be gone in body, but companies who still run its software are finding online support groups a godsend.

Hundreds of Web sites, bulletin boards and mail lists have continued to survive and thrive even though it's been more than a month since Oracle finalized its acquisition of PeopleSoft.

To date, there are 179 PeopleSoft user groups listed on Google with 39 PeopleSoft mail groups in operation. A search of Yahoo finds 251 PeopleSoft user groups listed with 333 PeopleSoft mail groups still around.

Hot issues that remain from the merger continue to center on layoffs, the culture clash between the two companies, PeopleSoft 9, what changes will be made to the current code base and Project Fusion, Oracle's plan to simultaneously support acquired technology from PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, as well as develop its next-generation merged product.

Some of the more visited sites include PeopleSoft Fan Club and User Forum, ITtoolbox for PeopleSoft Knowledge Base and Yahoo group PeopleSoft-Fans. Still other sources, such as PeopleSoft Pros, are offering job placement.

"The community is still upbeat and optimistic," Onuora Amobi, CEO of Nnigma Inc., which recently launched PeopleSoft-Planet.com. "The majority of the professionals who write to us still will take this over SAP any day. It's easier to learn and use. PeopleSoft in its current form doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. The job market looks pretty darn good and so far Oracle have made no sudden rash moves. To be continued."

Oracle said it plans to continue to build and support PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards major product lines until at least 2013. The database company said it will distribute PeopleSoft Enterprise version 8.9 in 2005 and version 9.0 in 2006. Project Fusion will also provide full product support, including patches and fixes, upgrade scripts, tax and regulatory updates, and technical support.

As in the past, Oracle said this does not mean that all currently supported releases will be supported through 2013. The company is requiring that customers do minor upgrades to stay current. For example, customers who are on Enterprise HCM 8.3 should not plan to remain on this release through 2013, Oracle said.

An Oracle spokesman told internetnews.com Friday that executives are hoping to update the community on the company's progress on Project Fusion in the next quarter.

Oracle has named John Wookey, senior vice president at Oracle, as the go-to man for the project. Under him, Oracle has named Cliff Godwin, senior vice president of applications; Jesper Anderson, formerly PeopleSoft senior vice-president; and Joel Summers, senior vice president of Oracle's human resource management systems development.

So far, Oracle has reached out to more than 4,500 PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers as a sign of support. As part of its integration, Oracle said it is dedicating some 8,000 developers from the three companies to the project.

"From the e-mail we've been getting, our readers seem to be adopting a wait and see perspective," PeopleSoft-Planet.com's Amobi said. "I have gotten confidential e-mails from developers currently at Oracle-PeopleSoft, and they seem nervous but cautiously optimistic. They aren't sure how potential future layoffs may affect them. Those of them who have been fortunate to keep their jobs need to be assured that they are safe or they will probably leave. It's unnerving to have an axe dangling over your head at work."