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Dawn Kawamoto

Staff Writer, CNET

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–With Oracle’s acquisition of PeopleSoft complete, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said he’s now free to focus on “Project Fusion,” a combining of Oracle and PeopleSoft products.

Ellison has a lot riding on the success of the project, which he hopes will prove a viable weapon against applications archrival SAP and database competitors Microsoft and IBM. Oracle just spent $10.3 billion to acquire PeopleSoft in a contentious 18-month takeover battle to scoop up thousands of PeopleSoft customers as well as woo new business that would have otherwise gone to the former competitor.

“I think the merger integration is complete. I’m not concerned with the development of PeopleSoft 9, J.D. Edwards 8.12 or Oracle 12,” Ellison said Tuesday at a press conference to launch the newly merged company. “My biggest focus is on Project Fusion. That is where my focus will be for the next several years.”

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With Project Fusion, Oracle will attempt to combine products from PeopleSoft with its own applications, application server software and relational database technology. The new product will be based on standard technology, rather than proprietary software, and should, according to Oracle, entice PeopleSoft customers to eventually migrate over to Oracle technology once support for their products expires in 2013.

“Our strength is in getting all of these technologies to play together,” Ellison said.

Oracle is hoping to retain 95 percent of PeopleSoft’s customers over the course of merging the companies and the various products.

“We will win in the applications business,” Ellison said, noting that SAP has recently tried to compete with Oracle in its core database market by rolling out its own database server software, NetWeaver.

Other steps Oracle will take to appeal to existing PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers is to keep the cost of their licenses and support at or below the current levels they currently pay, as well as offer a published price list, Ellison said. Most software companies do not publish a price list.