PeopleSoft Showcases New Tools, Integration Plans

Jim Wagner

Updated · Sep 15, 2003

For the past couple months, most of the coverage of PeopleSoft , has been about the highly-publicized attempts of arch-rival Oracle to take over the enterprise software company.

But for the next few days, PeopleSoft has the chance to draw attention to other news about it as it launches new products and expands its commitment to newly-acquired J.D. Edwards.

Using the backdrop of its PeopleSoft Connect conference, the company Monday launched several enhancements to its enterprise software applications, most notably a software suite integrated with the J.D. Edwards 5 enterprise suite into one application — EnterpriseOne — embedded into the PeopleSoft user interface.

EnterpriseOne is an all-in-one application for the corporation, tying in customer relationship, supply chain, project and financial management (to name a few) into one commone interface.

Officials say the announcement proves the intent of its acquisition of J.D. Edwards.

“We are delivering on the promise of the merged companies,” said Les Wyatt, vice president and general manager, PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne. “This release offers customers more solutions and enhances the value in their PeopleSoft investment.”

Also announced Monday was the availability of the Total Ownership initiative, a series of automatic update and back-end integration automation tools. Four new tools automate software updates, configuration and performance, while six new tools help integrate databases such as SAP and Oracle. These new tools can all be accessed using one interface.

According to Barry Wilderman, senior vice president and enterprise application strategies research director, many application providers have spent too little time addressing the time-consuming process of integrating disparate applications into one enterprise.

“A few years back, companies focused on detailed feature checklists from software vendors, but the market has shifted,” he said. “Today, companies are more concerned with what the vendor has done to lower the total cost of implementing and maintaining its software.”

One of the new automation tools, for CRM, is available this week. PeopleSoft plans to release the other tools from December into the first quarter of 2004.

Software addressing CRM is a high priority for PeopleSoft executives, an area that's seen most of its success this year. Signing blue-ribbon companies to its customer tracking software like Toyota, Epson and DoCoMo systems, it's important for them to keep them happy. According to officials, in the last quarter they've signed 100 new contracts, between new customers and existing customers upgrading to the new CRM tool.

“At a time when companies are scrutinizing every dollar they spend, the PeopleSoft CRM product suite remains in high demand,” said Joe Davis, PeopleSoft CRM vice president and general manager.

PeopleSoft is expected to extend its support on some older products another two to four years in an attempt to keep customers with PeopleSoft and away from other product lines (notably, Oracle).

PeopleSoft executives are going out of their way to accommodate the newly-acquired customers at J.D. Edwards. Entire sessions are devoted to PeopleSoft's “product roadmap,” one of its attempts to keep the much-needed J.D. Edwards customers in the fold by showing them how their current products won't be left at the wayside. Several open forums are available on the agenda for J.D. Edwards customers to meet executives and participate in question and answer panels.

PeopleSoft officials have told analysts these customers are key to its sales going forward, and have laid out an ambitious goal of cross-selling to 30-35 percent of the J.D. Edwards customer base. In order to cross-sell, you need to keep the customers, and towards that end Deutsche Bank analysts say PeopleSoft will offer steep software discounts in addition to the expected launch of the “customer protection scheme”

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