RealTime IT News

Oracle User Groups Extend Olive Branch

Now that PeopleSoft and Oracle are coming to terms, their respective support groups are starting to do the same.

The International Oracle Users Group (IOUG) and Oracle Applications User Groups (OAUG) each extended an olive branch this week inviting the PeopleSoft communities to work together during the transition period. Oracle itself met with PeopleSoft executives Wednesday to begin the arduous process of shaping the new company.

Oracle has said it will continue to support PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards products for the next 10 years. The database software vendor is also publicly committed to enhancing PeopleSoft 8 and developing PeopleSoft 9, as well as enhancing J.D. Edwards 5 and developing a J.D. Edwards 6.

Steven Hughes, OAUG executive director, said PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards users have much to gain from this fresh start.

"First of all, we can identify collaborative opportunities to participate in each others' networking events, meetings and conferences, as well as educational portals," Hughes said in an open letter to PeopleSoft users. "For years, we have worked with other users groups within the Oracle community and know collaborative efforts increase the users' collective voice, advocacy and communication channels with Oracle."

In her letter to the user groups, IOUG President Kimberly Floss said she wants PeopleSoft infrastructure technologists to "feel comfortable and recognize that, through IOUG membership, they will have a medium to network and share ideas, experiences, and best practices among an even larger audience."

Floss said the IOUG's PeopleSoft Special Interest Group (SIG) can also serve as a resource center for DBAs supporting PeopleSoft applications. The executive said its PeopleSoft SIG has also seen a surge in members and activity since Oracle first indicated its desire to merge with PeopleSoft last year.

Already OAUG and Quest, the J.D. Edwards user group, have already begun to develop a relationship.

DeLaine Bender, Quest executive director told internetnews.com her group doesn't see any conflicts at all between the various groups.

"They are for Oracle users and we are for PeopleSoft users and we have two different audiences. But our missions and vision are the same," Bender said. "We will synchronize our efforts even at the local level. Having that sister relationship with OAUG will be very valuable to our membership, as well."

Bender said her group was especially impressed with Oracle and its user groups even before the merger contract was signed. When Quest invited both sides to discuss the issues in February 2004, Oracle sent president Charles Phillips, while PeopleSoft declined the invitation.

Even overseas, where the lines between Oracle and PeopleSoft customers are a little more defined, user groups are seeing the need to start blending their support information.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Oracle's Phillips said the final paperwork on merger should be filed by Dec. 30.