PEOPLESOFT / ORACLE UPDATE – A Message From Michael Berman

As you may have heard, Oracle has been attempting to acquire PeopleSoft in a hostile takeover. Several people on campus have asked me how this would affect PeopleSoft, and particularly, our use of PeopleSoft on campus, so I want to offer my take on the situation.

Oracle's attempts to acquire PeopleSoft began about 18 months ago, but the outcome is still uncertain. Most recently, some 61 percent of PeopleSoft's stockholders indicated that they were willing to accept Oracle's buyout offer; however, PeopleSoft's board still opposes the takeover, and unless the board changes its current “poison-pill” strategy, Oracle cannot complete the purchase of PeopleSoft. While there is some chance that a judge will force PeopleSoft to make this change, the most likely scenario is that Oracle will now attempt to elect new members to the PeopleSoft board in the Spring of 2005. In the meantime, it's always possible that Oracle and PeopleSoft will come to an agreement and a merger will take place.

Most observers believe that it is likely that Oracle will succeed in acquiring PeopleSoft. However, I want to assure you that this takeover would have no short-term or medium-term impact on PeopleSoft's customers, including the CSU. In acquiring PeopleSoft, Oracle's intention is to maintain PeopleSoft's customer base. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison recently stated it was “madness” to assume that they would discontinue the software and support. While it is clearly Oracle's long-term intention to merge PeopleSoft and Oracle software products, Oracle's stated timeline for this process is ten years, which is a lifetime in software technology.

The long-term future of any software product is always uncertain, but the viability of PeopleSoft and its role at Cal Poly Pomona is not in question.  

Michael Berman

Vice President, Instructional & Information Technology