Oracle to unveil combined suite

Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison today announced Project Fusion, a combination applications suite blending Oracle and PeopleSoft products.

Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison today announced Project Fusion, a strategy for developing a "super set" of applications in 2005 and taking over the enterprise market.

This is the first time a major application company is going to commit to an absolutely standards-based development environment.
Larry Ellison
CEOOracle Corp.

Project Fusion will combine Oracle technologies with products it acquired from PeopleSoft and JD Edwards.

The selling point for the new suite of applications is that it will be built in a standards based development environment. The products will be written in Java and use standards-based rules to allow easy integration with other applications, Ellison said.

"We believe we can create a highly productive Java environment," Ellison said. "We think all the other application vendors are going to have to migrate to standards based technologies."

Ellison and other top Oracle executives addressed customers and the media today at the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company headquarters.

Last month, PeopleSoft's board finally agreed to a $10.3 billion takeover offer, and last week Oracle finalized the merger. The acquisition of PeopleSoft made Oracle the second-largest maker of business-management software behind the German software maker, SAP.

Ellison also assured PeopleSoft and JD Edwards software users that Oracle would support and develop their software over the next decade.

Oracle's new applications suite will challenge SAP directly, Ellison said. The new applications suite will be produced with a modern user interface based on both PeopleSoft developed HTML standards and the new Dynamic HTML standards, Ellison said.

Dynamic HTML. is a combination of new Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) tags and options, that will let users create Web pages more animated and more responsive to user interaction than previous versions of HTML.

"This is the first time a major application company is going to commit to an absolutely standards-based development environment," Ellison said.

The "super set" will allow customers to integrate legacy applications in a simpler, more cost-effective way than SAP's integration platform, NetWeaver, Ellison promised.

The battle for market dominance between the two software makers put CIOs and IT managers in a good position to get some attractive deals, said Michael Dominy, a senior analyst with Boston-based Yankee Group.

"SAP's strategy is wherever they have any foothold they want to take over an account and make it an exclusive user of SAP including the NetWeaver stack," Dominy said. "Oracle is moving aggressively to keep a firm grip on their newly acquired accounts so I think Oracle will at least match or try to beat anything that SAP offers."

For more information:

The Oracle-PeopleSoft timeline

Analysts: Oracle apps to remain the same

Oracle retained more than 3,000 PeopleSoft developers and has dedicated more than 5,000 developers to Project Fusion. They also issued pink slips to 5,000 PeopleSoft employees as a result of the merger.

"We want to think about this from a stand point of not only delivering applications, but also start thinking about integrating our data hubs and our architecture," said John Wookey, who was introduced as the head of Oracle's overhauled applications division.

Oracle said its Data Hub initiative would also wrap around the new application suite. Data Hubs allow customers who can't afford to migrate all of their applications to Oracle's application suite, to retain legacy applications and benefit from a single data model. They also ntegrate data from SAP, PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems Inc. and other vendors.

"We want to think about this from a stand point of not only delivering applications, but also start thinking about integrating our data hubs and our architecture," said John Wookey, who was introduced as the head of Oracle's overhauled applications division.

SAP responds

SAP said Wednesday it is acquiring TomorrowNow, a third-party support provider for customers running PeopleSoft and JD Edwards and adding an incentive program for those customers in an attempt to lure them way from software rival Oracle Corp.

The acquisition includes the introduction of what SAP calls a "safe passage program," an initiative that allows organizations to migrate to mySAP ERP business software, and the NetWeaver platform. Under the program, SAP would charge customers a maintenance fee of 17% of the original purchase price of their PeopleSoft and JDE software licenses.

"We're offering a complete software support and maintenance package, integration and a clear roadmap to future migration, and we think it's a compelling message," said SAP spokesman Bill Wohl.

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