PeopleSoft to Add IM Capabilities to New Portal

Company will also integrate its supplier relationship management products with SAP financial modules.

HANNOVER, Germany—PeopleSoft Inc. introduced a new enterprise portal Friday and previewed plans to incorporate instant messaging capabilities from the three leading IM providers into it. The company also said it plans to provide pre-built integration to connect its SRM (supplier relationship management) products to SAP AGs financial modules.

Unveiling the developments here at CeBIT, PeopleSoft Chief Technology Officer Rick Bergquist said the aim is to improve communications by better connecting people to the information they seek.

Enterprise Portal 8.8, which will be available March 19, includes a Resource Finder designed to lower the cost of maintaining directories and organization charts. It can help users locate the appropriate member of a company responsible for a particular request or find a customer who had purchased a particular product.

The new portal also allows different units within an enterprise to maintain their own Internet subsites tailored to their own purposes. "What customers are looking for is distributed maintenance of their sites," Bergquist said. "IT is no longer the bottleneck to making changes."

Overall, Version 8.8 was designed to enable Web sites to provide more useful information context from the perspective of business transactions, Bergquist said. It aims not to provide large volumes of information, but to help users find information that is relevant to them.

PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., will incorporate IM capabilities from IBM and Yahoo! into its application in the second quarter of this year, and Microsoft Corp. IM capabilities in the last quarter. IM increasingly is becoming a critical enterprise tool, Bergquist said. "Quick interactivity is what its about," he said. "Companies can pick their choice of IM providers, and our system works seamlessly with it."

Because demand is growing among customers of Walldorf, Germany-based software company SAP AG for PeopleSofts SRM offerings, PeopleSoft plans to pre-build connections into the offerings, Bergquist said. The pre-built integration will not only make SRM choices easier for SAP customers, but it will also lower system deployment costs, he said.

"Integration is one of the largest expenses enterprises face," Bergquist said, adding that it can account for as much as 35 percent of the cost of bringing a new system up.

PeopleSoft expects to make the pre-built integration between its SRM offering and SAP financial modules available in the last quarter of this year.

CeBIT News:

Search for more stories by Caron Carlson.