PeopleSoft Updates CRM Solution

Release 8.4 adds functionality for remote users, quality management and collaborative selling applications

Pleasanton, CA  March 15, 2002  Software provider PeopleSoft this week rolled out version 8.4 of its customer relationship management (CRM) solution, adding functionality for remote users, as well as new quality management and collaborative selling applications.

PeopleSoft says its CRM Mobile Sales and Mobile FieldService provide mobile sales professionals with disconnected access to customer information and allow users to synchronize data from mobile devices with systems at their headquarters.

The software provider said that because its mobile solutions are lightweight, they allow for rapid synchronization  up to a year of updates in just six minutes  through wired or wireless Internet connections, a feature that PeopleSoft argued can help increase user adoption.

The CRM Quality Management application enables companies to manage the process of tracking product defects and enhancement requests online, in real time, PeopleSoft said. Customer service inquiries can be routed through PeopleSoft's Support and HelpDesk applications to identify known defects and solutions, which the software company asserts can improve both efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The quality application also can provide users with notification of product updates or enhancement requests, and the application helps customers manage compliance and certification processes by automatically tracking inquiries according to pre-defined industry standards.

Release 8.4 further includes PeopleSoft's CRM Collaborative Selling application, which allows users to create product and services configurations through an automated process that combines needs-analysis, recommendation, configuration, pricing, quoting and order capture. PeopleSoft argued that providing organizations with a selling solution that includes both sales and manufacturing processes gives users a better understanding of customers' buying behavior. Self-service capabilities in the solution bring customers and channel partners into the buying process, enabling real-time visibility to orders and services data, reducing inventory and carrying costs and making order processing more effective, PeopleSoft asserted.

Steve Bonadio, senior program director at technology consultancy META Group, has pointed to 2002 as a turning point for CRM as the market continues to mature and new technologies broaden the reach of CRM to partners, employees, customers and suppliers. "To jumpstart their CRM initiatives, end user organizations should fixate on integrated CRM solutions that reduce total cost of ownership, and ultimately, clearly demonstrate business value," Bonadio said.

PeopleSoft CRM, release 8.4, is scheduled to ship on March 22.