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PeopleSoft Upgrades Key Product Lines

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Posted May 18, 2004 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

Analytics key to three new industry packages from the enterprise software giant, along with a new IBM partnership at its Leadership Summit.

In a show of force and determinism, PeopleSoft made a barrage of announcements at its Las Vegas Leadership Summit, touching on virtually all aspects of its business.

For starters, the company launched the latest version of PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM versions 8.9, new Demand Driven database packages for the manufacturing sector, next generation Sarbanes-Oxley compliance packages and a new global partnership with IBM for the SMB market.

PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM 8.9 is a significant major release that includes three new industry packages, 15 new products and more than 700 new features.

"All of that, combined, has led to the largest development effort in CRM that PeopleSoft has ever done," George Ahn, group vice president and general manager of PeopleSoft CRM, told the mid-morning audience.

High on the long list of enhancements is Prescriptive Analytics, a decision-making engine that Ahn compared to an airline traffic control and avoidance system that continuously keeps pilots appraised of potential collisions and offers a visual course of action for avoidance. Essentially, the product strives to identify behavior and anticipated outcomes, and then prescribe an action based on those analytics. According to Ahn, it will be included in every implementation of PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM 8.9. The new CRM also benefits from numerous usability and performance enhancement that, according to the company, lead to a 46 percent reduction in clicks require to perform business tasks and 30 percent faster performance.

PeopleSoft also introduced its Demand-Driven Manufacturing Solution at the Leadership Summit, touting it as an industry first. Former JD Edwards chief marketing officer and current general manager of PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne Les Wyatt told the audience that the solution was the result of a combination of JD Edwards and PeopleSoft technologies. He said the Demand-Driven model helps manufacturers be more flexible and adaptable to the demands of their own customers.

The new Demand-Driven product builds on PeopleSoft's existing Manufacturing product and includes: Lean Procurement, Buyer Workspace, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Demand Scheduling Execution, Configured Order Promising and Advanced Forecast Modeling. The Demand-Driven Manufacturing offerings are expected to be available in June, with Demand Flow Manufacturing to be released at the end of the year.

PeopleSoft claimed its Sarbanes-Oxley compliance enforcement solution, PeopleSoft Internal Controls Enforcer, is another industry first. Executives said it aims to help pro-actively enforce and monitor compliance. "PeopleSoft Internal Controls Enforcer will help companies prove, on an ongoing basis, that their internal controls are enforced," Renee Lorton, senior vice president and general manager of PeopleSoft Financial Management Solutions, said ia statement. "The combination of Enforcer and the best practices embedded in PeopleSoft's Financial Management solutions can drive down the ongoing cost of compliance and dramatically reduce risk across the enterprise." The product is expected to ship next month.

And what would a Leadership Summit be without some sort of partnership agreement announcement? PeopleSoft has joined with IBM and expanded their global alliance into the SMB reseller channel. The expanded relationship will integrate hardware and software offerings from the two companies, as well as provide for joint marketing efforts to promote the integrated products. As well, the two companies plan on collaborating to extend the SMB solutions into Linux environments. "With these new initiatives, both PeopleSoft and IBM are better-positioned to help our customers succeed in the on-demand world," Marc Lautenbach, general manager of Global Small and Medium Business at IBM, said in a statement.

Although there were few mentions of the ongoing attempt by Oracle to acquire PeopleSoft, president and CEO Craig Conway did allude to the battle in his keynote address.

"Most of the press and some of the analysts have really been captured this year by the story about Oracle's approach to us. It's been a saga that has gone on and on and a convenient topic to cover, but that saga impacts very few people at PeopleSoft," Conway told the audience. "Maybe 25 people or less are involved at any point with the Oracle saga. That leaves 11,975 people who everyday strategize code products, present them to the marketplace and try to close customers on buying them."

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