IDC Says JDE Users Have Favorable Views of PeopleSoft
January 12, 2004 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It’s been six months since enterprise application vendor PeopleSoft launched a $1.7 billion deal to acquire J.D. Edwards. So how is PeopleSoft doing? If the indications from a recent study by IDC are any sign, PeopleSoft is doing alright but has some difficulties to address as it integrates JDE’s products and customers into the PeopleSoft world.
IDC recently did two studies to try to take the pulse of JDE customers. First, in late November, the company did an in-depth telephone survey with approximately 100 JDE users, according to Albert Pang, director of enterprise applications research at IDC. Then the consultancy ran a survey on the online version of its magazine ComputerWorld, which asked all PeopleSoft customers (whether they were using JDE or PeopleSoft applications) some of the same questions. Pang says 535 people (including management and IT executives responsible for the JDE applications) responded to that survey. Each survey was used to cross-check the other. After some magic math that industry analysts perform on a daily basis to shake out deviant data, IDC found out that 80 percent of customers using the JDE software have a more favorable view of PeopleSoft as a vendor to do business with after the takeover of JDE. (Oracle is still trying to be a spoiler and buy PeopleSoft, which hardly anyone thinks Oracle will be able to do.) The survey did not ask if customers had a more favorable of the former JDE after it agreed to be acquired by PeopleSoft, however, which would have been an interesting question, too. Based on the data from the two surveys, Pang says, only 9 percent of the JDE respondents had a less favorable view of PeopleSoft after it took over JDE.
The survey data also revealed that 69 percent of JDE respondents had no plans to invest significantly in PeopleSoft applications (in this case meaning the former OneWorld and WorldSoftware suites, which are now known as EnterpriseOne and World respectively) in the next six months. “Survey results indicated that there are as many reasons for PeopleSoft to celebrate, as there were concerns after the purchase of JD Edwards,” Pang said in a statement divulging the numbers. “In general, the former JD Edwards customers that were surveyed are positive about the integration plans. But this positive sentiment is being challenged by their unwillingness to invest in more PeopleSoft products in 2004 when it comes to enterprise applications upgrade or replacement activities.” Pang said further that former JDE customers are more interested in getting more use out of their existing systems, gaining a competitive advantage through better integration of their software, consolidating their ERP systems, and reducing the amount of custom programming they do. In an interview, Pang said that the large enterprises using the EnterpriseOne and World suites are the most reluctant to spend, and smaller companies with a few hundred employees are being more aggressive in their spending plans. This mirrors what is going on in the U.S. economy at large, according to surveys conducted by many consultancies on current and near-term IT spending.
Pang also said that for more than half of the JDE customers, the support and sales people that they were used to dealing with have not changed since the acquisition. And that, in general, most JDE customers were pretty pleased with the way PeopleSoft has handled the integration of JDE into itself. He said that some changes to Web-based tech support have been made that bring JDE customers in line with the support that PeopleSoft gives its customers and the amount of information available in JDE knowledge bases has, in fact, greatly improved. JDE users were, however, not happy about a 5 percent price hike in software maintenance fees that PeopleSoft has put in place. To be fair, even without the acquisition, JDE itself might have hiked maintenance prices on its software.
In a separate development that relates to JDE users, PeopleSoft has pulled out of participating in the Quest user group of users of the OneWorld and WorldSoftware ERP suites. Quest hosts regional user meetings and an annual shindig, which used to be called FOCUS and was hosted in Denver alongside the former J.D. Edwards. PeopleSoft and Quest have had a falling out after PeopleSoft outlined conditions of its participation to the board of directors of Quest and the board declined. No vendor ever really likes an association of users, because of the concerted weight they can bring to bear, but most vendors realize that they can’t ignore user groups and they try to work things out. Quest has over 15,000 members, and upsetting them is probably not a good idea.
Despite PeopleSoft ending its participation in the user group, it nonetheless has its own regional and issue-oriented user groups, which have about 14,000 attendees, according to the company. PeopleSoft wants to have a single user event for all of its customers, and it apparently wants to have more control than JDE held over Quest, according to various reports. How much this rift between PeopleSoft and Quest matters in the long run for EnterpriseOne and World shops is unclear. But Quest has vowed to carry on with its user group meetings, full steam ahead.