JD Edwards brand axed along with 1000 jobs

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The JD Edwards brand is to go in the merger of the software firm and PeopleSoft, along with almost 8 per cent of the combined workforce.

In the first clear explanation of life after the merger, PeopleSoft confirmed that it plans to lay off up to 1,000 workers. PeopleSoft Chief Financial Officer Kevin Parker said cuts would be aimed at redundant administrative, marketing and middle-management positions, leaving development, sales and consulting staff untouched.

The JD Edwards product set will remain intact, but the combined product portfolio will not carry the JD Edwards brand, instead being renamed PeopleSoft World 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.

The company argued that the new product portfolio actually gives JD Edwards customers more choice. "The whole acquisition [of JD Edwards] hasn't been about consolidation. It's about expanding customer choice.," said PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway. "It was never intended to drive down the size of the product line…or to coerce or enable a revenue stream by consolidation. It's always been about growth."

The company said it aims to eliminate $167 million to $207 million in duplicate costs, having previously said it was looking for combined annual cost savings of $150 million to $200 million as a result of the $1.8 billion acquisition.

PeopleSoft has also updated its earnings forecast for this year and next year. The company expects total 2003 revenue of $2.145 billion to $2.175 billion and earnings of 52 cents to 55 cents a share. It anticipates 2004 revenue of $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion and earnings of 90 cents to 95 cents a share.

Conway also took time out to dismiss Oracle’s latest extension of its deadline to PeopleSoft shareholders. “I don't think the Oracle bid is a current issue," Conway said. "It's a movie that has been playing for a long time. I think people have lost interest in it."

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