PeopleSoft's software is easy to use, say customers. But many are worried their investments will be jeopardized if Oracle wins its takeover bid.
The latest version of PeopleSoft's supplier-relationship management tools is, in the words of one user, "damn good"; customers say the software provides access via a Web browser and is generally easier to use because it requires fewer clicks to place an order.
But never mind that: The sword hanging over PeopleSoft's head is an unwanted takeover attempt by Oracle, which extended its $7.7 billion offer to PeopleSoft shareholders through the end of August. The U.S. Department of Justice is trying to block the deal in federal court; a decision in the case is expected in September. PeopleSoft customers are particularly spooked at the prospect that Oracle would cease development of the PeopleSoft applications, even though Oracle claims it would continue supporting them for at least 10 years.
Gwinnett County Public Schools is in the third year of a $40 million rollout of PeopleSoft financial, human-resources and supplier-relationship management software. "We've made an investment, a huge investment, in the software and in implementing it," says Jeff Weiler, chief financial officer of the Georgia school district. He says his team already evaluated Oracle's products and found them inferior. "We had a chance to go with Oracle, and we'd rather not end up with them by default," he says.
Larry Bastianelli, fiscal systems manager at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, says PeopleSoft provides better tools and support for customizing its software than offerings from competitors: "With PeopleSoft, it's not like, 'Take it or leave it,'" he says. For example, the requisition-approval workflow in eProcurement provides only one level of approval. Bastianelli says the hospital's approval requirements are based on the dollar amount of the item being purchased and the buyer's job role, and his team easily customized the software to fit that process.
However, some say PeopleSoft needs to stitch its software modules together more tightly. Northwestern Memorial Hospital runs PeopleSoft 8.0 financial, human-resources and supply chain applications. When it deployed eProcurement in late 2002, the hospital had to write its own interfaces to translate data with the other PeopleSoft applications, says Lara Latham, director of materials management. "It's not plug-and-play," she says. "PeopleSoft has some work to do."
4460 Hacienda Dr.,
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Ticker: PSFT (NADSAQ)
VP & General Manager, EnterpriseOne
Former marketing chief at J.D. Edwards, acquired last year by PeopleSoft. He has also served in marketing roles at Harbinger and Texas Instruments.
VP & General Manager, Supply Chain Management
Formerly vice president of strategic accounts at i2 Technologies. He joined i2 when it acquired Aspect Development, where he led the launch of that company's supplier-relationship management product.
SRM modules include eProcurement, which provides a Web portal to let employees purchase products and handles workflow for approvals, and eSupplier Connection, which gives suppliers "self-service" access to pending orders and information about inventory needs.
State of Connecticut
Project: State employees in 65 agencies can order items from 30 catalogs hosted in eProcurement.
Mgr., Procurement Enterprise Systems
Project: Paper and office-supplies company connects directly to 11 suppliers through eProcurement, which handles roughly 15% of all transactions to those suppliers.
Project: Farm equipment maker uses eProcurement and eSupplier Connection at its Hesston, Kan., facility to submit orders to 200 suppliers, about 25% of its supply base in the Americas.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Dir., Materials Management
Project: Chicago hospital allows 1,000 users to order routine items like office supplies and medical stents via eProcurement.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Fiscal Systems Manager
Project: Using eProcurement to link to five suppliers' Web sites to let workers order medical supplies, computer equipment and other products.
Gwinnett County Public Schools
Project: Georgia school district plans to connect to its top 15 suppliers through eSupplier Connection.
Executives listed here are all users of PeopleSoft's products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.
|Gross margin||61.4%||61.7%||63.4 %|
|Earnings per share||$0.10||$0.25||$0.59|
* Fiscal year ends Dec. 31; YTD reflects first six months
Source: coMpany reports
Total assets - $4.31B
Stockholders' equity - $2.98B
Cash and equivalents - $542.47M
Long-term debt - None
Shares outstanding - 368.52M
Market value as of 7/27 - $6.32B
** As of June 30, 2004, except as noted