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Oracle honeymoon over for PeopleSoft and JD Edwards

U.K. Oracle User Group finds nervous satisfaction among users of PeopleSoft and JD Edwards software, nearly two years on from the Oracle acquisition.

Oracle's honeymoon with users of the PeopleSoft and JD Edwards software applications it acquired at the start of 2005 is over, the U.K. Oracle User Group has found.

The findings, published in a survey conducted by the user group, show that while Oracle's takeover of Siebel was seen by 64 percent of users as a positive investment, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards users' attitudes have waned somewhat since last year.

"PeopleSoft and JD Edwards users have now had two years about in the Oracle world," said UKOUG chairman Ronan Miles. "This time last year we saw that PeopleSoft users were understanding of what Oracle was doing. What we see now is that satisfaction has slipped a little, but within the noise level."

JD Edwards is a different matter, said Miles. Following Oracle's long-running acquisition of PeopleSoft, the JD Edwards community had convinced itself that Oracle would sell off the division which it acquired at the same time, said Miles. At the time of the acquisitions a popular rumour held that PeopleSoft only bought JD Edwards to drain its coffers, thereby making itself less attractive to Oracle. "The greatest fears among JD Edwards users have been assuaged," Miles said, and now they are looking for some investment in the brand.

"We were all aware of these general feelings but not the size of the swing," said Miles. "We know Oracle does have a programme to invest in JDE users for the coming year, and Oracle's ambition needs to be not [making] the fearful fearful again, but to encourage the hopeful that there is real opportunity."

A surprisingly high uptake of Oracle's 10g database was among the other surprises in the survey. Where 17 percent of those questioned were using 10g last year, 37 percent responded that they were using it in 2006. In contrast, 61 percent of users were using 9i in 2005, dropping to 43 percent this year. "We think this is testimony that Oracle's quality control on database products has improved," said Miles. "Oracle has acknowledged that improvements could be made and we're now seeing people adopting earlier because they see it as less of a risk."

Satisfaction with the Oracle application suites also shifted slightly this year. In 2005, 6.8 percent and 47.6 percent reported being "very happy" or "happy" with Oracle CRM, but those figures dropped to 1.9 percent and 46.3 percent this year.

Support from Oracle is generally perceived to have improved, though machines have not fared so well as humans: "There is clear evidence that the human side of Oracle support has benefited from investment," said Miles. "But the flip side is that the Metalink electronic support has sunk in satisfaction. It is now showing its age. The investment in the human side was better judged."