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Report From the Oracle/PeopleSoft Frontline: Alienating PeopleSoft

They Got To Sleep On It In Pleasanton, CA

(Friday, January 14, 2004 - Pleasanton, CA) - The hammer didn't officially come down on PeopleSoft today, according to several employees whom we interviewed outside of company headquarters Friday afternoon. "We'll find out tomorrow," a weeping 30-something woman told us as she packed a heavy crate of personal belongings into the back of her SUV. Nearby, another woman carried a similar crate as she walked with her six-year-old son to their car.

Several youngish employees gathered near a shrine on PeopleSoft Parkway, one block from the headquarters entrance. The mood was surprisingly cheerful, although no one would provide their names "because they (management) told us not to give our names to the media," one young man explained. None of them knew whether they had been fired or not, repeating the refrain of "we'll find out tomorrow."

A middle-aged engineer we'll call "Anil" also said that he didn't know his fate, but said he wasn't overly concerned. "If they had done this two years ago, then most of us would be in a lot of trouble," he said. "But with the economy recovering as it is, I think that I and most of us will be able to find jobs" if fired.

The shrine had buttons, brochures, company caps, and photographs from happier days, along with a small shroud with "RIP" stenciled into it and a hastily-drawn cardboard sign that said "Under New Management."

Public reports this afternoon stated that Oracle would lay off a total of 5,000 employees within the new combined organization, smaller than the 6,000 figure that had been thrown around the past several weeks. What's not known is how many of those jobs will be plucked from the sprawling PeopleSoft campus, which dominates the Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton and is a major employer and economic driver in this region. In any case, the story was big enough to merit top billing on at least one of the major Bay Area TV stations in evidence at the scene.

By 5:15pm, the sun had set and traffic was building steadily on the nearby 580 freeway to mark the start of a three-day week-end. Parking lots at PeopleSoft (i.e., Oracle/PeopleSoft, as stated on the Web site at www.peoplesoft.com) headquarters and surrounding buildings were still half-full. One might presume that those left in the buildings at that hour intended to do what they could to keep their jobs through the week-end and beyond.


Photo: The shrine in Pleasanton, California had a small shroud with "RIP" stenciled into it. The shrine had a hastily-drawn cardboard sign that said "Under New Management" (below)


(Photo Copyright: SYS-CON Media, January 14, 2005)

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

More Stories By Matt Vande Voorde

Matt Vande Voorde is editor of Accessible Content Magazine and a former TV producer at Oracle Corp.

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