The Upshot at the JPMorgan Tech Conference: On Paperclips and Profits
Clippy Must Die
You might expect big things from the world's largest software company, but the biggest highlight of Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) presentation at the JPMorgan H&Q Tech Conference was about the size of a paper clip.
In fact, it was a paper clip.
The Wonderfulness of Being PeopleSoftPeopleSoft (PSFT) has no ego problem. CTO Rick Bergquist skipped the modesty routine at the JPMorgan H&Q conference Tuesday in describing how his company met its numbers in "trying times." Being a techie, of course, the difference to him was the technical superiority of PeopleSoft's products. PeopleSoft 8 is Web-based and requires "no code on the client," a phrase Bergquist repeated as frequently as his competitors use the phrase "softening macroeconomic environment." Investors asked if worried rivals were slashing prices and making life difficult, but Bergquist shrugged off the anxiety. He joked that Oracle (ORCL) discounting was "gimmicky," and compared any price reductions the database giant is offering to a sales-force automation giveaway last summer. " Siebel's (SEBL) business turned out just fine," he said, adding that price is not the most sensitive issue in big enterprise software rollouts. "No CIO wants to be remembered as the person who saved $50,000 but got the wrong application." He added that the average sales price climbed in the first quarter. In other positive news, he updated a January report that 1,000 PeopleSoft 8 deployments had sold since September, saying sales have continued at that speed through April. PeopleSoft has several new products in the queue, most importantly a CRM upgrade on track for launch in June. No sweat. -- Tish Williams
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