PeopleSoft has outlined its plans for integrating the newly acquired JD Edwards, which sees the merged firm maintaining clearly demarcated boundaries for its software.
With the merger recently completed, PeopleSoft will primarily concentrate on two existing product lines: PeopleSoft Enterprise and PeopleSoft Enterprise One.
Enterprise is targeted at the upper end of the market, primarily for large companies. Enterprise One, essentially a rebranding of JD Edwards 5, will focus on mid-market firms.
The two product lines will keep their separate code bases, although both will be able to incorporate modules from the other, according to Craig Conway (pictured), president and chief executive at PeopleSoft.
Conway argued that PeopleSoft's customer base will benefit from having previously unavailable modules, such as real estate management.
Equally, JD Edwards' installed base will get better human resources and supplier relationship management features.
In a thinly veiled attack on Oracle's hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, Conway said: "The whole acquisition [of JD Edwards] hasn't been about consolidation. It's about expanding customer choice."
PeopleSoft maintained that it intends to keep separate product lines, relying on portals and integration software to ensure that the modules from Enterprise and Enterprise One are compatible.
Ashim Pal, senior analyst at Meta Group, explained that it would be easy enough on a point basis to integrate modules from the two product sets.
"But it is a waste of resources to run endlessly. Over time I expect them to migrate to a common infrastructure," he said.
PeopleSoft hinted that this is likely to happen at some point in the future.
Ram Gupta, executive vice president of products and technology at PeopleSoft, stated that the continuation of distinct product lines is an immediate response to conditions following the merger.
"I won't rule out a move to building our software with common tools. But what you've seen today is how we are focusing our efforts over the next 18 months," he said.
Conway explained that the combined portfolio will give it the platform from which to challenge rival SAP, with talk of being bought out by Oracle "no longer a current issue".
Despite Conway's triumphalism, Oracle's $7.5bn for the combined firms remains on the table.
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