Good Scoop: The PeopleSoft/IBM Backstory
By email@example.com on May 11, 2010
Sometimes you're searching for something online and you find an unrelated, bonus nugget. Last week I stumbled across an interesting blog post from Chris Heller of a PeopleSoft consulting shop in San Ramon, CA called Grey Sparling.
I don't know these guys. But Chris, who apparently used to work on the PeopleTools team, wrote a great article on a pre-acquisition, would-be deal between IBM and PeopleSoft that would have standardized PeopleSoft on IBM technology.
The behind-the-scenes perspective is interesting. His commentary on the challenges that the company and PeopleSoft customers would have encountered if the deal had gone through was also interesting:
· "No common ownership. It's hard enough to get large groups of people to work together when they work for the same company, but with two separate companies it is much, much harder. Even within Oracle, progress on Fusion applications was slow until Thomas Kurian took over Fusion applications in addition to Fusion middleware."
· "No customer buy-in. PeopleSoft customers weren't asking for a conversion to WebSphere, so the fact that doing that could have helped PeopleSoft stay independent wouldn't have meant much to them, especially since the cost of moving to whatever a "PeopleSoft built on WebSphere" would have been significant."
· "No executive buy-in. This is related to the previous point, but it's worth calling out separately. If Oracle had walked away and the deal with IBM had gone through, and PeopleSoft customers got put through the wringer as part of WebSphere move, all of the PeopleSoft project teams would be put in the awkward position of explaining to their management why these additional costs and headaches were happening. Essentially they would need to "sell" the partnership internally to their own management team. That's not a fun conversation to have."
I'm not surprised that something like this was in the works. But I did find the inside scoop and Heller's perspective on the challenges particularly interesting. Especially the advantages of aligning development of applications and infrastructure development under one roof. Here's a link to the whole blog entry.