Oracle Makes Good on Promise of Continued PeopleSoft Development

Stepping onto the Project Fusion road to integrate its acquired enterprise applications, the database giant delivers the next iteration of PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management. The update includes more prepackaged goodies that are now realized in

Oracle Corp. on Wednesday delivered the next iteration of PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management, thus taking a step onto the road to Project Fusion.

Project Fusion is the companys name for its project to integrate all of its acquired enterprise applications from PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards—an effort that, company executives have said, will be a gradual one that will stretch over years and come in easily swallowable chunks rather than an all-in-one huge platform.

PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management 8.9 comes with more prepackaged goodies—including analytical maps, models and metrics—that encompass ever more business areas, such as CRM (customer relationship management), financial management, human capital management and SCM (supply chain management).

The update takes data from PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World, sourcing, mapping and rationalizing it within a single warehouse environment. This will enable JDE customers to use all modules of the Enterprise Performance Management suite.

In addition, EPM 8.9 has been architected so that warehouses and data marts can be licensed separately and deployed modularly.

It includes over 200 predefined key performance indicators through standards-based Web services, making analytical content generated in EPM available to other applications, such as Microsoft Corp.s Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Users can also define their own key performance indicators and, with the help of Web services, enable them for operation with other applications.

The use of Web services is the bedrock of Project Fusion, which focuses on using an open-standards Java-based platform to merge the best functionality from each of its three suites. Oracle has pledged to extend support for PeopleSoft products even further than PeopleSoft itself intended, and the delivery of 8.9 was the first item on its to-do list.

In 2006, Oracle plans to deliver Oracle E-Business Suite Version 12, PeopleSoft Enterprise 9 and EnterpriseOne 8.12, with continuing enhancements to be delivered "continuously," according to John Wookey, Oracles executive vice president of application development.

/zimages/1/28571.gifOne of Oracles biggest hurdles has been convincing users, analysts and the press that it will maintain all three product lines and keep development robust. Click here to read more.

As part of the EPM suite, PeopleSoft Planning and Budgeting has been integrated into a unified platform to provide a seamless top-down and bottom-up planning process designed to shorten the planning and budgeting cycle and align operational budgets with high-level strategic goals.

PeopleSofts Activity-Based Management has picked up a real-time modeling engine, a cost and profitability analysis solution geared to enabling users to perform modeling and "what-if" analysis without the need to run batch processes. A press release said that users can now create models and change elements to immediately see impacts.

EPM 8.9 also integrates with PeopleSofts compliance tool, Internal Controls Enforcer, to help out with compliance and risk management. For multinational companies, PeopleSoft Global Consolidations manages multiple reporting structures for U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and international accounting standards.

Also, PeopleSoft Global Consolidations captures activities that affect account balances and provides instant audit trails to help customers meet compliance reporting requirements.

Oracle claims that EPM 8.9 is also faster to deploy, as well as being easier to use and maintain. Usability enhancements include new navigation pages, personal scorecards and individual planning workspaces. The suites underlying infrastructure has also been simplified with a single data movement tool from Ascential—newly acquired by IBM—that optimizes data integration. New metadata management capabilities include a console to access warehouse structures and content.

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