Pleasanton, CA — March 14, 2003 — Enterprise software provider PeopleSoft today unleashed a wave of news, rolling out its new enterprise portal solution, announcing plans for pre-built integration of its supplier relationship management solution to SAP Financials and unveiling additional plans to integrate instant messaging capabilities into its own solutions.
PeopleSoft also touted its momentum in the customer relationship management space, reporting a gaggle of new clients for its CRM application in the fourth quarter. And finally, the software company announced two recent customer wins for its Sales Incentive Management solution, part of PeopleSoft's Human Capital Management suite.
Here's a rundown of the latest news.
PeopleSoft said its new portal solution, Enterprise Portal 8.8, includes capabilities intended to help business users to quickly locate, connect to and collaborate with the appropriate person for a given task or business process, as well as maintain control over tailored sub-sites within the Portal. The goal of the new functionality is to allow companies to accelerate the completion of business processes and reduce information technology (IT) costs.
New wizard-driven site administration capabilities enable business users to create and deploy tailored community specific sub-sites with little or no assistance from the IT department, PeopleSoft said.
A Resource Finder feature is intended to assist users in quickly locating any resource needed to help execute a business process. For example, users can find a customer who has purchased a particular product, a member of an organization who can answer a specific supplier request or the appropriate application to create an expense report.
Integrated instant messaging technologies from IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo! allow users to detect whether their business partners are online so they can communicate with them in real time with the goal of expediting business transactions. (See also Instant Messaging Capabilities below.)
"In the early portal market, having a solid infrastructure was the ticket to entry, but now it's about efficiency across business processes, making them more accessible and easier to manage," said Rick Bergquist, chief technology officer for PeopleSoft. "PeopleSoft's Enterprise Portal 8.8 helps users, both within and beyond the enterprise, efficiently collaborate, influence and execute business processes."
The software company said that to date more than 600 customers have licensed the Enterprise Portal, a component in the AppConnect suite. Enterprise Portal 8.8 will be generally available in the U.S. on March 19 and internationally on May 28. Instant messaging capabilities from IBM and Yahoo! will be generally available worldwide in the second quarter, while instant messaging capabilities from Microsoft will be generally available in the fourth quarter.
The planned pre-built integration to connect PeopleSoft's Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and SAP financial solutions is intended to address demand among SAP customers for the SRM solution, PeopleSoft said.
PeopleSoft's out-of-the-box integration solution will leverage its AppConnect platform to deliver integration at the business-process level. This integration is being designed to provide pre-built connections between PeopleSoft eProcurement, Strategic Sourcing, Services Procurement, Supplier Rating System and SAP financials and materials management modules. In addition, PeopleSoft said it currently plans to provide ongoing support and maintenance of the integration solution for new versions of SAP and PeopleSoft applications.
"This approach makes good sense," said Enrico Camerinelli, program director at technology consultancy META Group. "It will enable customers to consolidate and get the most value from the software that they already have in place. This new solution will allow rapid plug-in to SAP applications, enabling SAP customers greater choice."
PeopleSoft says its SRM solution connects an organization's customers, suppliers and employees directly to the complete source-to-settle business process. The pre-built integration between SRM and SAP financial solutions is currently expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2003.
The planned integration of instant messaging capabilities from IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo! into PeopleSoft's enterprise applications is intended to allow will users to collaborate in real-time with their customers, suppliers and partners.
The provider says that the new capabilities will enable customers to take advantage of instant messaging features such as presence detection, "follow-me" functionality and privacy settings. Presence detection allows users to immediately determine whether or not a messaging partner is on-line. "Follow-me" functionality enables messages to be forwarded to different devices such as mobile phones or converted into speech and delivered through voicemail. The privacy settings ensure that users are not subject to unwanted communication.
"The ability to exchange instant messages within applications and portal frameworks is essential for improving business efficiency across the enterprise," said Bergquist. "PeopleSoft will be the first enterprise applications vendor to allow customers to leverage this pervasive technology to offer real-time communication between participants in a business process."
As reported above, instant messaging capabilities from IBM and Yahoo! are scheduled to be generally available worldwide in the second quarter. Instant messaging capabilities from Microsoft are slated to be generally available in the fourth quarter.
PeopleSoft touted new customer wins for its customer relationship management (CRM) solution, reporting more than 100 transactions in the fourth quarter of 2002, with more than 40 percent of the transactions coming from new customers.
The new customers included American Medical Security Inc., GTSI Corp., O2 GmbH & Co. and PSA Peugeot Citroen Group. Other new and existing customers that purchased PeopleSoft CRM in the fourth quarter included Actuate Corp.; Cable and Wireless West Indies Limited; Green Mountain Coffee Roasters; Michigan Education Special Services; Telenor Satellite Services Inc.; Ventura County, California, Educational Testing Services; and World Access.
More than 40 percent of the transactions were from companies outside of the United States, according to PeopleSoft.
Finally, Agilent Technologies and IDX Systems Corp. have selected PeopleSoft's Sales Incentive Management solution (SIM) in bids to gain real-time access to critical sales management and compensation information, with the goal of more effectively planning, designing and communicating incentive plans.
PeopleSoft said that SIM, a new product within the provider's Human Capital Management suite, will enable Agilent and IDX to develop and modify compensation plans that match company objectives. The solution provides sales personnel real-time access to information about the products or services they should be selling and how they will be compensated.
The potential benefits of the solution include streamlining the incentive management processes, enabling accurate compensation payments and increasing sales personnel job satisfaction.