PeopleSoft partners prepare to work with Oracle

PeopleSoft partners prepare to work with Oracle

As Oracle begins mapping out its plans for integrating PeopleSoft's applications business into its own, PeopleSoft's channel of reseller and integration partners are waiting to see how they'll fit into Oracle's strategy.

For the moment, Oracle is preserving PeopleSoft's channel programs as it examines how best to create a combined partner network.

PeopleSoft's programs are essentially frozen, with resellers receiving the same margins and deal terms they had with PeopleSoft before its acquisition earlier this month by rival Oracle.

"We don't want to stall any business," Oracle's vice-president of global alliances and channels, Bronwyn Hastings, said.

A date has not yet been set for formally merging PeopleSoft's channel into Oracle's network, and details are still being worked out on how the transition will be carried out. For now, PeopleSoft's partners are free to continue selling new PeopleSoft licenses. Oracle has yet to say when, or if, it will discontinue PeopleSoft sales, although it has made clear its plan to lead with its own applications in all new business pitches.

A number of PeopleSoft partners did not return calls for this story, but one willing to comment, Inrange Consulting, said Oracle had done well so far with its outreach efforts.

"We are very comfortable with how Oracle is laying out their strategy," vice-president, Kevin Teder, said.

Inrange is partnered with several other enterprise software vendors, including Microsoft and Cognos, but its work as a PeopleSoft reseller and consultancy brings in the majority of its revenue. Inrange once participated in Oracle's channel programs, but that alliance faded as the company found better value concentrating in other areas. Now, Inrange is willing to work again with Oracle on its PeopleSoft practice, which Teder expects to be viable for years to come.

"All of the customers we have talked to continue to plan on being on PeopleSoft," Teder said.

Teder said the drawn-out takeover battle between Oracle and PeopleSoft actually boosted Inrange's business in recent months, as it appeared increasingly likely PeopleSoft would be acquired.

"Both PeopleSoft and Oracle customers used the activity leading up to the merger to purchase whatever additional modules or upgrades they needed," he said.

Once the deal went through, Oracle executives were quick to reach out to key PeopleSoft partners, according to Teder.

"Absolutely, they were proactive," he said. "I think they did their due diligence within PeopleSoft and within their own organization to find out which partners are strategic to PeopleSoft."

"We've already been in discussions with Oracle senior management about deals and alliances."

Oracle hopes to tap into PeopleSoft's customer base to upsell its own software.

Hastings said the company was trying to educate PeopleSoft's partners about Oracle's software portfolio.

Teder said Oracle hadn't given PeopleSoft's partners any answers about how long it would keep PeopleSoft's portfolio available for new software sales, but if the software was still available, he was confident it would find willing buyers.

"As long as Oracle has those products available, we'll be selling them," he said.

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