LAS VEGAS—PeopleSoft Inc. plans to reduce the complexity of its software implementations and configurations, while supporting Linux throughout its applications and embracing an open architecture intended to end its customers dependency on middleware, the company announced Tuesday.
Speaking at the opening session of the companys annual Leadership Summit here Tuesday, CEO Craig Conway spoke of how problems in the economy provided an opportunity for new technologies to “make a difference,” while highlighting the enterprise software companys past achievements in being he claimed the first vendor to provide embedded analytics, a global payroll engine, a fully Web-based architecture, and the “real-time enterprise” of interconnected applications that PeopleSoft launched at this conference last year.
Conway then outlined the companys objectives for this year: to help customers reduce costs and dependencies on single platforms and middleware.
To reduce costs, Conway pledged that PeopleSoft will improve the overall user experience of its software.
“Everything about enterprise software is people-intensive,” said Conway. “But enterprise software has not yet been directed at the ownership experience.” He then promised that PeopleSoft would dedicate 500 developers to improving the ownership experience of PeopleSoft software, to a smattering of applause from PeopleSoft customers and prospects in the audience.
The goals of this development effort would be to ensure that PeopleSoft software can be installed in one day and configured to customer requirements in weeks not months, Conway said. Performance monitoring would also be built into all applications to provide automatic detection of any problems with the software.
“Its time enterprise software moved into the era of the total ownership experience,” said Conway.
Part of the experience will be on the Linux platform, which Conway said all PeopleSoft applications would run on. In doing so, PeopleSoft is seeking to end customers dependency on Microsoft technology.
“Today the biggest dependency is on the Microsoft operating system, and Microsoft is determined to continue that dependency,” Conway said.
He said that even Microsofts attempt to embrace the Internet—.Net—was toxic since it just reinforced enterprises need for Microsoft operating systems, servers, databases and development tools.
“.Net is the home formula to make asbestos,” said Conway, to laughter from the audience.
“The answer to the death grip Microsoft has on the industry is an alternative operating system. PeopleSoft will now support Linux. All of our enterprise applications will be available on Linux,” he said, to applause.
“Its not because were anti-Microsoft, were not. Were pro-choice,” Conway continued. “We think our customers should have a choice not to have their enterprise software on PCs.”
As part of the new Linux support, PeopleSoft has formed a go-to market partnership with IBM Corp. to port and optimize PeopleSofts applications to Linux running IBM hardware and software, including IBM eServer xSeries, DB2 Universal Database and WebSphere Application Server.
All PeopleSoft applications will be available on Linux by the fourth quarter.
PeopleSoft is also seeking to reduce enterprises dependence on middleware for connecting their applications to other applications in their environment, using its AppConnect integration technology.
Starting with the PeopleSoft Supplier Relationship Management application late this year, PeopleSoft will support direct integration into SAP AG and Oracle Corp. business applications on a rolling basis.
“If every enterprise software company did the same thing, it would be the beginning of the end to middleware and savings could be put in new technologies.
“This is the beginning of the end of middleware and its the beginning of truly cross-functional applications.
“The burden of connecting your applications should be on the enterprise software companies, not you,” he said.
In closing, Conway promised that PeopleSoft would continue to lead the enterprise software business in innovation.
“Since our founding, our guiding principle has been leadership. We will lead.”
Also at the conference, PeopleSoft announced several new applications including the Performance-Driven Manufacturing suite, which combines manufacturing analytics, with existing Supply Chain Planning and Business Planning applications. The Performance-Driven Manufacturing suite includes components for Manufacturing Scorecard, Supply Chain and Predictive Operations Planning and Demand Driven Manufacturing.
Industry-specific scorecards will be delivered for the health care and communications industries, in addition to manufacturing, by the fourth quarter.
The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company announced a new product called Recruiting Solutions 8.9, which company officials said integrates the recruiting process across all employment categories, including full-time, part-time, contingent, hourly and professional.
PeopleSoft will add its CRM technology to the recruiting process in this version to improve identification and recruitment of qualified candidates. The software will also include embedded analytics to improve visibility and control of the recruitment process and hiring spend.
In the financial management arena, PeopleSoft announced that its Financial Management applications comply with the best practices for Section 404 reporting of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as set by the Working Council for CFOs.
In addition, PeopleSoft will team with Protiviti, an internal control consulting firm to assist customers in the documentation, testing and assessment of their internal controls. Finally, PeopleSoft announced that it was extending its Enterprise Service Automation software to automating business processes within the IT organization, with the release of PeopleSoft ESA for IT.
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