PeopleSoft Gets Suppliers Talking

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2001-05-21

PeopleSoft Inc. will move deeper into the business-to-business and data analysis territories this week with an upgraded supplier relationship management suite.

Version 5.21 of its SRM suite, due this week, is expected to enhance supplier collaboration by enabling corporations to manage relationships all along the supply chain, from design and sourcing through planning and procurement, said officials of the Pleasanton, Calif., company.

One application, Collaborative Supply Management, due next month, will enable companies to send, for example, procurement plans to suppliers. An eRFQ application, due early next month, will make requests for quotations available through a PeopleSoft supplier portal, as well as through Extensible Markup Language.

Additional applications that focus on dynamic auctioning will be available in the first quarter of next year, officials said.

In related news, a PeopleSoft partner, iPrint Inc., said last week that its online printing capabilities will be integrated with the eProcurement 8 module this week.

Despite the flurry, some say PeopleSoft is playing catch-up in supply chain management. i2 Technologies Inc., for instance, has long had an SRM module with its supply chain suite, and Ariba Inc. announced its own SRM capabilities in March with its Value Chain Management product. Commerce One Inc. has efforts under way with SAPMarkets Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to develop supplier enablement applications.

At the same time, smaller vendors such as eRoom Technology Inc. and Emptoris Inc. are readying their own SRM software. eRoom, of Cambridge, Mass., this week will announce its eRoom Advanced Server and eRoom Real Time Server. Real Time Server offers real-time collaboration between companies and their supppliers.

Emptoris, of Burlington, Mass., this week will unveil ePASS 3.0, its electronic sourcing for e-procurement software, which goes beyond the single-tier, buyer-supplier interaction to support collaborative, multitier, buyer-supplier networks.

"A lot of ERP [enterprise resource planning] vendors are still struggling to Web-enable their products," said Rob Ditto, senior IT project manager at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. Ditto first installed eRoom software three years ago. "So they not only have to professionalize on the Web but also on basic collaboration on the Web," he said.

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