Portal, Alliance Lighten HR Load

Plumtree product offers online resource center for employees.

Enterprises looking to improve employee communications and human resources processes will get a boost from new software from Plumtree Software Inc. and a partnership between PeopleSoft Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Plumtree last week released portal software designed for HR departments. At the same time, PeopleSoft announced an extension of its alliance with Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., that will improve the security of its PeopleSoft 8 HCM (Human Capital Management) application.

Plumtrees Portal Solution for Employee Services provides an online resource center of content, services and systems for a companys employees and retirees and their spouses. The portal provides access to HR information and other employee services such as paid-time-off requests, training registration and scheduling, job postings, and employee surveys.

Plumtree, of San Francisco, also released new Gadget Suites for HR applications developed by SAP AG and PeopleSoft. The Gadget Suites provide integration between those HR applications and a Plumtree portal.

The Portal Solution for Employee Services includes those Gadget Suites as well as the Plumtree Collaboration Server; Plumtree Studio Server; and the Plumtree Framework for Microsoft Corp.s Excel.

Cullen McClure, IT infrastructure manager for Kurt Salmon Associates, a management consulting company in Atlanta, said his organization would likely be interested in adding employee services capabilities to its portal.

Kurt Salmon Associates uses Plumtree software now for business-to-employee purposes such as sales opportunity tracking, expertise location, information sharing and communications. "We already have plans to add functions like [employee services]," McClure said. "If this would be an easier way of doing that, that would be fantastic.

"Our HR department is interested in getting information out to employees and getting information back from them. It looks like this may be a good fit for what were looking for."

Meanwhile, PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., announced the integration of its HCM software with Suns Sun Open Net Environment Identity Server 6.0, which PeopleSoft officials said will allow customers to build a federated identity management system through single sign-on. The federated identity management system will give administrators an easier way of protecting the security and identity of HCM users, officials said.