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Ellison pledges support for PeopleSoft customers

PeopleSoft customers can expect one last upgrade to their existing software and a new version, if Oracle Corp. is successful in taking over the company, said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison said his company would finish developing the next version of PeopleSoft software and begin working on a successor product to both companies' business suites, if Oracle's $9.2 billion offer for PeopleSoft is successful.

We will build a successor product to both PeopleSoft and Oracle, so when they do upgrade, they'll get a dramatically better product.
Larry Ellison

Oracle would do the best it could to finish development of PeopleSoft 9.0 and, once released, developers will work on a new product that can be easily installed over PeopleSoft's software, Ellison said during his keynote at Oracle's OpenWorld Wednesday. The new version would incorporate some of PeopleSoft's existing technology into Oracle's E-Business Suite.

"We will build a successor product to both PeopleSoft and Oracle, so when they do upgrade, they'll get a dramatically better product," Ellison said. "We are going to support our new PeopleSoft customers."

Oracle is waiting on a Delaware judge's ruling, expected next week, on whether the PeopleSoft board of directors can legally use its poison pill provision to squash Oracle's takeover bid. Oracle said it would support PeopleSoft products over the next decade, if it is successful in taking over the company.

Ellison also trumpeted his company's vision for a grid computing architecture and its recently expanded data hub concept. Lashing out at customer relationship management (CRM) vendors for not giving a 360-degree view of the customer and trouncing the mainframe as past its prime, Ellison said a grid architecture, or a data hub integrator, can help a company get a better grip on its data.

Ellison said his company's Customer Data Hub, a data integration product that was introduced last year, is the only product that can give enterprises a complete view of their data. Meanwhile, Customer Relational Management products -- touted by vendors, including Oracle -- fail to live up to their billing, Ellison said.

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"A CRM system doesn't know about your company's late deliveries or if a customer hasn't paid you," Ellison said. "CRM systems can't deliver [that]."

The products allow customers who can't afford to migrate all their applications to Oracle 11i to retain legacy applications and benefit from a single data model. Ellison said his data hub vision was created after examining the way financial firms and credit card companies combine their customer information in a single global database.

Ellison said the next integrators will enable companies to gather data on products, financial information and logistics from multiple sources and vendors into a single location.

"The data fragmentation problem is the biggest issue company's face today," Ellison said. "Businesses are finding that the underlying information about their business is chopped up all over the world."

Ellison also called the mainframe far too expensive and inefficient for a growing company. Touting grid as the new standard, Ellison said companies would be able to more efficiently handle data by clustering large amounts of low-cost hardware for more computing power.

"Mainframes are old fashioned. They were the gold standard for 40 years, but no longer," Ellison said. "They're far too expensive and inefficient to perform on the level needed today."

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