PeopleSoft Rolls Out New CRM Apps

The company introduces what it calls its "most significant" CRM release, plus new applications for demand-driven manufacturing and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance.

LAS VEGAS—PeopleSoft Inc. on Tuesday rolled out a host of new applications, as it settles into what CEO Craig Conway described as the third generation of software, an era of interconnected applications and online business processes.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company announced new applications for demand-driven manufacturing and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance, as well as what it called its "most significant" CRM release at its Executive Leadership Conference here. It also announced a new channel partnership with IBM for serving the small and midsize business space.

"Companies have started to look at application software differently," Conway said in his opening keynote. "Theyre considering [dealing with] multiple partners, common interfaces, and the impact of integrating different applications together. Most companies have driven more toward integrated application suite providers like PeopleSoft."

PeopleSoft announced several new products for what it calls Demand Driven Manufacturing—manufacturing driven by customer demand through supply chain planning. Those products include: Lean Procurement; Buyer Workspace; Radio Frequency Identification; Demand Scheduling Execution; Configured Order Promising; and Advanced Forecast Modeling.

Lean Procurement includes the Buyer Workspace, Supplier Self-Service and Supplier Release Scheduling, all of which embed Demand Flow methodologies licensed from JCIT late last year.

The Buyer Workspace is a collaborative interface for buyers to manage supplier relationships. It includes commodity market alerts. RFID support helps track products through the supply chain; Demand Scheduling Execution shows demand and supply visibility across the supply chain, including the ability to track and audit cumulative demand against contracts.

Configured Order Promising calculates the expected delivery of configured orders, and Advanced Forecast Modeling allows customers to forecast demand, taking into account outside factors such as consumer price index, weather predictions and localized inflation rates.

"The No. 1 responsibility and challenge a manufacturer has is to adapt to the changing requirements of customers," said Les Wyatt, general manager of PeopleSofts Enterprise One product line. "They have to link their suppliers in real-time so they know when demand changes at the same time as the manufacturer.

"Weve matched J.D. Edwards technology with PeopleSoft technology, and our shared vision for delivering this model called demand-driven manufacturing.

The Demand Driven Manufacturing applications are due to ship in June. Demand Flow Manufacturing technologies are expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

PeopleSoft CRM 8.9, termed the "most significant" CRM release in the companys history, consists of 15 new products including applications for "prescriptive" analytics, customer portfolio management and partner relationship management. The company also introduced the following industry solutions: Revenue Management, which ties together customer service with billing and collections; Student Lifecycle Marketing, which allows higher education institutions to handle student interactions from recruitment to registration, retention, fundraising and continuing education; and Wealth Management, which manages customer interactions and guides business activities in the financial services industry.

"This is the largest development effort in CRM that PeopleSoft has ever done," said George Ahn, PeopleSofts CRM general manager.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Ahns recent move to PeopleSoft.

PeopleSoft added to its software for addressing Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance with PeopleSoft Internal Controls Enforcer. The new product monitors internal controls and sends alerts to management when they are not being followed.

"Were entering a new phase of compliance thats centered around enforcement, said Renee Lorton, PeopleSofts general manager of Financial Management applications.

In other news at the show, PeopleSoft announced a new SMB channel initiative with IBM. As part of the deal, IBMs vast SMB reseller channel will offer PeopleSoft applications and the two companies will jointly develop industry specific hardware and software solutions. The companies will also offer a new solution for Tier 2 and Tier 3 automotive suppliers that consists of PeopleSofts EnterpriseOne applications running on the IBM eServer xSeries technology with IBM middleware and consulting best practices.

The companies also announced comprehensive testing of PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne running on IBM hardware and infrastructure and the Linux operating system.

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