Thursday, June 17, 2004

Blogger in the court

PeopleSoft's antitrust lawyer Gary Reback is sitting as an observer in the courtroom during the DOJ's lawsuit against Oracle. No surprise there. But he's also writing up his observations, day by day, and posting them to a blog on the PeopleSoft website.

There is a decided slant toward PeopleSoft's interests in Reback's writing. But it provides a level of detail that is missing in the business press. For example, on June 16th proceedings he writes:
Yesterday, the government presented evidence about Greyhound's procurement to show a situation in which a complex enterprise customer actually tried to consider a bid from Lawson, only to find that Lawson's product was inadequate for a complex enterprise. Today was a rerun, but featuring Microsoft rather than Lawson. North Dakota tried to solicit a bid from Microsoft, only to find, after careful examination, that the Microsoft product met only 20 percent of the state's technology needs. Indeed, during the bidding process, Oracle itself complained in writing that Microsoft's product was inadequate for a large, complex enterprise. Nowhere did Microsoft dispute the point; one of the Microsoft executives jointly signed a letter with a state official, agreeing that the Microsoft product was inadequate. Of course, none of this has stopped Oracle's lawyers from telling the press in the hallway outside the courtroom that Microsoft is a competitor in the market.

Once Microsoft was disqualified, the North Dakota procurement turned into a bidding war between Oracle and PeopleSoft. The original bids were between $35 and $40 million, but faced with direct competition from PeopleSoft, Oracle eventually dropped its bid to $18 million. PeopleSoft won with a bid of $21 million because it scored better in other categories.
Check out Reback's blog on PeopleSoft's web site.

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