A clarification was made to this story. Read below for details.
update Oracle has no direct upgrade path for some of its PeopleSoft CRM users, who might have to re-implement their systems should they want to move to newer releases, according to an Oracle partner.
Oracle has committed to providing lifetime support for all products -- including those from PeopleSoft and JD Edwards -- which it acquired in its acquisition strategy.
Still, many users would want to upgrade to better supported releases, said Bryan Hinz, a consultant for Oracle systems integrator Apex IT.
However, this will not be easy for some. Many PeopleSoft CRM users would not be able to simply upgrade to new releases, according to Hinz.
"Should you upgrade or should you re-implement? ... Sometimes you don't have a choice," he said.
"PeopleSoft, on the CRM side, [versions] 8.0 and 8.1 don't have an upgrade path to 9.0, for example.
"And in all the different releases, there are certain version numbers ... that don't have an upgrade path or upgrade scripts provided to get to the newest release.
"So sometimes in that scenario you're looking at a potential re-implementation.
"So is it even possible to upgrade? Sometimes it's not."
On the path to Fusion
Yet, Oracle has espoused the benefits of its many CRM products to thousands of users at its annual OpenWorld conference in the US this week.
The vendor announced a new CRM release as part of the upcoming Oracle e-business suite 12.0, and also recently released a new CRM product for PeopleSoft users (9.0). Version 8.0 of Siebel CRM is also on the way.
Encouraging users to upgrade is critical for Oracle as it tries to gain user buy-in for its upcoming Fusion architecture. The first Fusion applications will be released next year, and will make up an application suite for the JD Edwards,
PeopleSoft and Siebel users that have become Oracle customers via the vendor's acquisitions.
"Those [applications] are going to continue to be enhanced around the Fusion architecture. So as you upgrade, you're going to get closer to Fusion and take advantage of those technology enhancements," Hinz said.
Oracle CRM competitors such as SAP have seized the upgrade path issue in recent times to try and lure JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel customers to other products.
Steven Deare travelled to Oracle OpenWorld as a guest of Oracle.
Clarification: Apex IT's Bryan Hinz has clarified that for customers on PeopleSoft CRM 8.0 or 8.1, they will need to first upgrade to an interim version (such as 8.4) and then upgrade to 9.0 -- a two-step upgrade path. Otherwise, customers can choose to re-implement the entire system.