User group outlines complaints about PeopleSoft's demands

There’s no sign of a thaw in relations between PeopleSoft and the JD Edwards User Group which has laid out further allegations of what it sees as unreasonable behaviour from the software supplier.

Tensions between the user group and the company - which bought JD Edwards last year - emerged earlier this month when PeopleSoft announced that it would not attend the Quest JD Edwards user group, renaging on its previous commitment to the event. It was alleged that the supplier had demanded too much control over the independently run event and when this was denied, decided not to attend at all.

Quest took place last week regardless with PeopleSoft’s scheduled presentation slots filled by other speakers but it was clear throughout that the bad blood between the company and its recently acquired users remains. Quest President Barbara Schmit, chief information officer of CNT, scrapped her formal presentation to the conference and outlined the problems in more detail than before.

Specifically she revealed that PeopleSoft had wanted approval of any communication sent by Quest to its members. It also wanted Quest to retract some previous statements, such as an announcement related to PeopleSoft's participation in Quest Global Conference. PeopleSoft also wanted Quest to absolve PeopleSoft of any potential financial and legal obligations related to existing commitments to customers.

"As an independent user group, we believe it is necessary to maintain the right to communicate with members frequently and in an open, unedited manner," Schmit said. "Speaking on behalf of CNT, we did not ask to become a PeopleSoft customer, but we would very much like to know what plans PeopleSoft has. I don’t want to wait until September to discuss them. These conferences are the opportune place to do that. Frankly, as customers, we expect PeopleSoft to follow through on JD Edwards’ commitments.

"One concern for the Quest board is that PeopleSoft recognise and understand mid-market customers," she added. "Obviously there are some crossover commonalities between the mid-market and the larger, enterprise-size customers – but there are some unique needs, priorities and challenges that smaller companies face. For many of us, this is the reason we selected JD Edwards as our ERP vendor."

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