In an effort to win the support of PeopleSoft Inc.’s customers for its hostile takeover bid, Oracle Corp. is planning a series of online “town hall” meetings to discuss its plans for supporting current PeopleSoft customers.

The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 17 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, hosted by Oracle Executive Vice-President Chuck Phillips. Phillips was one of the key architects behind Oracle’s unsolicited US$6.3 billion offer to acquire PeopleSoft, one of its top rivals in the enterprise applications market.

Questions, which will be presented anonymously, can be submitted during the meeting or e-mailed in advance to PeopleSoft customers can access the meeting online at, or by calling 1-800-593-8968 and using the passcode “PeopleSoft Town Hall.”

Oracle’s Web meeting will take place one day before PeopleSoft intends to close its acquisition of J.D. Edwards & Co., for which it received a U.S. Department of Justice approval on Monday. [Please see DOJ clears PeopleSoft’s JDE buy.]

Since Oracle announced in early June its plan to acquire PeopleSoft against the wishes of PeopleSoft’s directors, the company has faced skepticism from PeopleSoft customers wary of Oracle’s product plans. Oracle has said that if its bid is successful, it would stop actively marketing PeopleSoft products but would continue supporting the software for existing customers. While customers would be offered incentives to switch to Oracle software, no one would be forced to migrate, according to Oracle.