PeopleSoft, eRoom to Combine Efforts

PeopleSoft Inc. is boosting its application offerings for service companies again.

PeopleSoft Inc. is boosting its application offerings for service companies again. The ERP software developer will announce next week a relationship with eRoom Technologies Inc. in which the two companies will offer an integrated solution that unites PeopleSofts Enterprise Services Automation product and eRooms Digital Workplace meeting software.

The combination will provide quick solutions for service organizations looking to improve the efficiency of their global operations, according to officials at eRoom, of Cambridge, Mass.

PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., and eRoom are targeting field service, internal IT services, professional services and staffing organizations.

The combined software solution allows team employees, customers, suppliers and partners to collaborate on project information, schedules and assignments, regardless of where they are geographically.

The companies promise a rapid implementation of about a week.

PeopleSoft is expected to expand its PSA (professional services automation) solutions offerings through further collaborative products it creates with eRoom. PeopleSoft entered the PSA market with its $32 million purchase of software vendor SkillsVillage Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif. That deal closed earlier this month.

The addition of SkillsVillages functionality of locating and hiring services and contingent staff gives PeopleSoft a fairly complete system for the sourcing, administration and management of enterprise services. What eRoom brings to the table is Internet-based collaborative software and services.

According to a recent report by Boston-based AMR Research Inc., the acquisition of SkillsVillage not only propelled PeopleSoft into the PSA market, it also gave the company a strong lead over competitors SAP AG and Oracle Corp. in human resources management software, a market thats been largely neglected as ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendors focus on procurement applications.

With eRooms collaborative capabilities, that lead may well be enhanced further.

Management and IT consulting company Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, based in Paris, will be working as a test customer for both PeopleSoft and eRoom and will have input into the final development of the combined product, which is due later this year.

"As a user of both companies products, we are thrilled at the prospect of a well-integrated service automation solution with extended enterprise capabilities," said Les Poinelli, vice president of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. "It [will] provide a robust solution for reaching out to clients and prospective partners and improving the work products and business processes that drive successes."