Quest user group retools to embrace PeopleSoft users

Two of Oracle's recently inherited user groups are linking to create a stronger entity to deal with the software vendor.

Quest International Users Group, which represents users of the one-time J.D. Edwards & Co. ERP software, Wednesday announced it would open its arms to its sister organization, the International Customer Advisory Board (ICAB), whose members run PeopleSoft software. Both sets of users were inherited by Oracle when it closed on its purchase of PeopleSoft in January.

The ICAB leadership has voted to recommend that its various industry, regional and product-based user groups align themselves with Quest.

"A working team of user-group leaders performed a due diligence process and explored a number of options and operating models," ICAB President Jim Whalen said in a statement. "While each of the 125 user groups must ultimately make their own decision, this agreement aligns the interests of the PeopleSoft user community and provides a support platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing."

ICAB members who once received support from PeopleSoft can now get many of the same services from Quest. Before PeopleSoft bought out J.D. Edwards two years ago, Quest was seen as an effective and popular intermediary between its members and J.D. Edwards. But PeopleSoft largely severed the relationship with Quest and withdrew its support from the group in favor of ICAB.

Having the user groups works together will create a "strong unified voice" for users in dealing with Oracle, said Quest President Fred Pond, who is also director of information services at Schnitzer Steel Industries. He noted that the move doesn't preclude various ICAB subgroups from aligning with other Oracle user organizations, including the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG), with whom Quest already has a tight relationship.

Quest and the OAUG are collocating their annual conference next week, and the move won't effect the two organizations' current collaboration, Pond said.

Quest also said a marketing and communications plan would be developed by leaders from both user groups. The groups next month also plan to host webcasts to better detail the service and support offerings.

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