Sunday, August 31, 2003

All over, except for the shouting

In an interview with CNet, PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conroy says he's no longer concerned about Oracle's hostile bid for PeopleSoft. He points to the fact that, so far, Oracle has received tenders for only 8% of PeopleSoft's stock, and also to PeopleSoft's shareholder rights provision and staggered board of directors--corporate measures that make it all but impossible for Oracle to achieve success. Indeed, at this point, no one I know thinks that Oracle will win.

In a related note, prospective buyers are getting a bit tired of the takeover actions of the big software players. I attended a software demo recently for a prospective buyer. After the initial introductions, one executive in the back of the room spoke up, "I just have one question. Who are you buying, and who's buying you?" Enterprise system investments are supposed to last at least 7-10 years. Therefore, customers are looking for stability and predictability in their software vendor relationships. Amidst all the noise about who's buying whom, vendors had better remember that the ultimate stakeholder in these deals is the customer.

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