Protect and Serve: PeopleSoft Encourages Upgrades

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2004-09-23 Print this article Print

PeopleSoft sent two more signals that it will not relent in its efforts to protect and serve customers, while trying to escape the clutches of Oracle, its hostile suitor.

SAN FRANCISCO—PeopleSoft sent two more signals that it will not relent in its efforts to protect and serve customers, while trying to escape the clutches of Oracle, its hostile suitor.

On Wednesday, the $2.7 billion Pleasanton, Calif., developer introduced a program called PeopleSoft Now, aimed at spurring its tens of thousands of existing customers to upgrade to the latest versions of its planning, financial, human resources and other business software.

The company also announced that its software would be installed worldwide at the manufacturing sites of 3M, the materials, Scotch tape and Post-It note giant.

In an offer that lasts through the end of the year, the company said it would incent its customers to upgrade their existing PeopleSoft programs by providing free technical assistance for the upgrades, free patches, fixes and updates for a quarter, free access to Web-based training course for a year and a $100,000 credit toward the purchase of new licenses. The credit would be available to customers spending as little as $200,000 on upgrades, said marketing and strategy vice president David T. Scott.

Encouraging upgrades would benefit customers by lowering their ongoing software maintenance and operation costs, said Michael P. Gregoire, executive vice president of global services. But it would also lower PeopleSoft's expenses of supporting different versions of its software. Moreover, "with this, our customers are protected on Oracle,'' he said. By installing the latest versions, they would get support from Oracle for longer periods of time than if they stuck with older versions, he said. This "protection" only applies, of course, if Oracle eventually succeeded in its current $7.7 billion bid to take over PeopleSoft.

As for 3M, PeopleSoft's executive vice president for the Americas, Phil Wilmington, announced that the $18.2 billion a year Minnesota manufacturer was installing all PeopleSoft products at its plants.

While neither he nor 3M vice president of applications Jerry Erickson would disclose the dollars involved in the deal, PeopleSoft took that as a validation that its manufacturing and financial software can beat that of SAP AG, the market share leader.

On stage at PeopleSoft's Connect users conference in San Francisco, Wilmington presented Erickson with a gold CD commemorating the choice. The deal was lauded as a "significant milestone" for 3M, by Erickson.


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