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CIO Jury: IT bosses OK $8.8bn Oracle/PeopleSoft deal

No competition concerns among majority of CIOs…
UK IT bosses have no concerns over the impact on the IT market of the possible £8.8bn hostile takeover of PeopleSoft by rival Oracle.

Despite competition concerns, US and EU regulatory authorities have given the green light for the deal to go ahead and Oracle made its 'best and final' offer for PeopleSoft earlier this week, setting a 19 November deadline to accept it.

We asked the silicon.com CIO Jury if they would be concerned about the impact on competition and products in the market if the Oracle deal goes ahead.

The result was a resounding no, with two-thirds (eight) saying 'no' and a third (four) saying 'yes'.

Les Boggia, head of IT at insurance firm Carole Nash, was one of those worried about the deal going ahead. He said: "This reduces competition and given the relative recent takeover of JDE by PeopleSoft, where does this lead to next? Will Microsoft buy Oracle?"

David Jemitus, head of IT at the Government Planning Portal, said he was "very concerned" about the prospect of PeopleSoft disappearing from the market.

"PeopleSoft have been innovators in the software and in customer service and it will be sad to lose them as a separate company. It does seem that Oracle want to remove a competitor and takeover the user base rather then learn from the PeopleSoft approach, and no doubt the PeopleSoft product will die."

Neil Hammond, IT director at British Sugar said the market would suffer from the loss of PeopleSoft's innovation. "It will also, eventually, mean an expensive ERP migration across to a supported platform which adds very little business value," he said.

But others were less concerned by the prospect of a takeover. Graham Benson, information services director and CIO at Screwfix Direct, said: "Consolidation is a natural business evolution. A new combined software house will stand or fall based on the quality of its products and services."

It was a sentiment echoed by Frank Coyle, IT director at John Menzies distribution. "The number of high profile ERP failures in recent years has, thankfully, removed a lot of the hype and a lot of potential business from this area. It was inevitable that rationalisation of suppliers would take place to compensate for the reducing market."

This week's CIO Jury was…

Steve Anderson, IT partner, Davis Langdon
Graham Benson, information services director and CIO, Screwfix Direct
Les Boggia, Carole Nash
Ian Cohen, IT director, Financial Times
Frank Coyle, IT director, John Menzies Distribution
Derek Gannon, IT director, Guardian Newspapers
Bill Gibbons, CIO, Abbey Group
Neil Hammond, IT director, British Sugar
David Jemitus, head of IT, Government Planning Portal
Dharmesh Mistry, CTO, edge IPK
Rob Neil, head of ICT services, Ashford Borough Council
Ted Woodhouse, IT director, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

If you are a CIO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and want to be part of silicon.com's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at editorial@silicon.com

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