PeopleSoft Upgrades HR Suite With 250 Enhancements

PeopleSoft focuses its 8.9 release on work force performance, restructuring the software so it's a person-based model.

At its Connect show in San Francisco this week, PeopleSoft Inc. is announcing the first upgrade to its Human Resources suite in two years.

This latest 8.9 release of the companys Enterprise Suite—named after PeopleSoft acquired J.D. Edwards & Co. last summer—is focused primarily on work force performance, driving toward helping human resource professionals be more strategic and "not be outsourced," officials said.

Scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2005, Version 8.9 has some 250 enhancements—one of the most significant being a restructuring of the software so its a person-based model.

"Were finding today that companies have a greater use of contingent work force. An HR system needs to keep track of those workers. The problem before [the upgrade] is if you hired a temporary worker, you werent keeping track [of them]," said Rick Bergquist, CIO of PeopleSoft, in Pleasanton, Calif. "Weve changed that now. You can keep track of all attributes of [temporary] employees."


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With Version 8.9, users can track people-based skills with new functionality around asset management. A new Candidate Gateway module enables job seekers to submit and save multiple applications and to track those applications through the HR system. A corresponding Talent Acquisition module enables HR professionals to match people with open positions.

The 8.9 upgrade also brings enhancements around industry verticals. In banking and finance, for example, industry-specific templates have been added to align a companys sales force with industry objectives, thereby tying incentives to company objectives.

In manufacturing, PeopleSoft has added functionality around union support and union wage progression scales. In health care, 8.9 brings functionality that enables users to track learning management of employees by tracking certifications.

In concert with its Total Ownership Experience initiative announced 15 months ago, PeopleSoft has also been working on reducing implementation times around all its software packages through a rewrite of its upgrade processes. This includes 8.9 as well.

"We do expect to see a 20 percent reduction in implementation of 8.9," said Bergquist.


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