App Manages HR, Projects

But Oracle software faces competition from PeopleSoft and Lawson

The new project resource management application from Oracle Corp. provides software designed to help companies better manage their human capital.

The PJRM application, which began shipping late last month, enables organizations to manage staffing, scheduling and rates for mobile workforce groups such as consultants.

The application also performs matches against a skills database to find the appropriate person for an outsourced job.

The software integrates planned labor hours and converts that to cost revenue and margins for a given project, said officials at Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif.

PJRM is delivered as part of Oracles e-business suite or as a stand-alone application that interfaces with Oracles human resources, financial management and project lifecycle management modules.

Part of Oracles long-range plan is to extend a users reach outside a companys firewalls and source the extended work force, according to company officials, who said that partner evaluation will be part of that process.

However, Oracle may be playing catch-up in the PSA (professional services automation) space.

Earlier last month, enterprise application competitor PeopleSoft Inc., of Pleasanton, Calif., acquired PSA software developer SkillsVillage Inc.

The addition of SkillsVillages functionality of locating and hiring services and contingent staff, according to company officials, gives PeopleSoft a fairly complete system for the sourcing, administration and management of enterprise services.

Similarly, Lawson Software, of St. Paul, Minn., announced plans last month to focus heavily on automating the professional services sector.

Mark Greenlaw, CIO at NerveWire Inc., a management consulting and systems integration company in Newton, Mass., looked at the competition before he decided to go with Oracles PJRM application.

"We liked Oracles whole vision—its more aligned with how we want to run our business," Greenlaw said. "It is end to end, so you get maximum visibility into your business, from how youre doing on your leads all the way through to financials."

"Were a small company and cant afford to go out and build a lot of different point solutions," he added. "But if I were a customer who had every other PeopleSoft app, Id be hard pressed to consider any other vendor. Thats the reality."

The PJRM application is available now. Pricing starts at $395 per user.