11:09 AM

Where do all the PeopleSofties go? Social Networking!

by Jochen Siegle for SiliconValleyWatcher.com

The ax finally fell, or at least started falling on Friday: About 5,000 PeopleSoft employees will lose their jobs in the wake of the controversial take-over by Redwood Shores based archrival, Oracle. The first pink-slips were sent over the weekend by express mail.

So what's next for the hordes of Ex-PeopleSofties? They flood professional social networking sites on the internet, the business equivalents of Friendster.com. The increasingly popular virtual contact plattforms such as Mountain View's LinkedIn, Google's Orkut, or Ryze seem to be the last hope for thousands of current -- and soon to be unemployed -- staffers of Pleasantons's business software maker.

According to LinkedIn's co-founder and VP of Marketing, Konstantin Guericke, more then 50 percent of all PeopleSoft employees are now registered at LinkedIn -- two thirds of them registered in the last 30 days. "That proves that more and more people realize how important and effective social networking is to find a new position," Guericke says.

A look in the LinkedIn database this morning showed at least 2428 current PeopleSoft employees: hundreds of developers, product managers, and application analysts as well as top managers such as David Thompson, PeopleSoft's Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, who is recognized by IDG's Computerworld as a 2004 Premier 100 IT Leader.


LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman: Build social networks before it's too late

Chances for finding a new position through a social business network seem promising: Over 20,000 hiring managers have signed up for LinkedIn, which is used by about half a million registered users in over 80 countries. The company is headed by CEO Reid Hoffman, who co-founded SocialNet in 1997 and was an Executive Vice President at PayPal.

Meanwhile, Oracle is hosting a big party later this week to celebrate the "new Oracle." The majority of the 6,000 or so "left over" PeopleSoft employees will most likely not be able to share the fun: The number of layoffs at PeopleSoft is sure to grow. So "Old PeopleSoft" or "new Oracle" folks, better listen to social networking protagonists and move quickly to manage your virtual contacts: "Start buidling your network before it is to late," Guericke says. "Anyone listening at Siebel or Lawson?"

Another helpful online source for laid-off PeopleSoft employees: the PeopleSoft Alumni Network: http://www.psftalumni.net/