In a move likely to obstruct Oracle?s hostile take-over bid, PeopleSoft last week announced it will adopt IBM?s WebSphere as its preferred middleware platform.
At PeopleSoft's Connect 2004 user conference in San Francisco, the two firms announced a strategic partnership in which they will integrate WebSphere components with Peoplesoft's applications portfolio, work together on integration technologies, and provide $1bn joint funding over the next five years to complete the project.
Barry Wilderman, vice-president of application delivery strategies at analyst firm Meta Group, said the move will give PeopleSoft ready-made application integration capabilities.
It will also raise the price Oracle will have to pay if it acquires PeopleSoft, because Oracle would have to dissolve the IBM agreement and remove any IBM software from PeopleSoft products, Wilderman predicted.
Crosbie Burns, UK and Ireland managing director of PeopleSoft, said: "The IBM partnership is a very important aspect of our strategy and a very important differentiator for us in the market."
He added that details of how the deal will affect IBM and PeopleSoft's channel have still to be finalised.
Executives at the event declined to comment further on the long-running Oracle saga.
Mike Hirst, director of affiliate PeopleSoft partner Crocus Consulting, said: "IBM and PeopleSoft were coming closer together even before the Oracle threat arose, so this has not come as a surprise. This agreement has just accelerated that process.
"In terms of the marketing and sales funds, any injection of revenue cannot be a bad thing for the channel.
"This is a good move. IBM's middleware offering is good, but I'd be interested to see how IBM does with its database product. I've implemented on DB2 several times and let's just say it was not a natural fit."
Additional reporting by Miya Knights.
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