PeopleSoft Brings Analysis to Sourcing

PeopleSoft has upgraded its Strategic Sourcing application for Web-based procurement to include analytics that enable a company to evaluate the performance of its suppliers.

Enterprise software maker PeopleSoft Inc. this week unveiled Version 8.4 of its Strategic Sourcing application for Web-based procurement of direct and indirect materials.

The upgrade includes analytics that enable a company to evaluate the performance of its suppliers -- a core differentiater as far as PeopleSoft is concerned -- as well as the ability to collaborate with suppliers online.

The business analytics embedded in PeopleSofts Strategic Sourcing 8.4 allow companies to evaluate suppliers performance, based on user-defined criteria like cost, quality and delivery. The leg-up that PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., has is easy integration with its own financial and inventory planning modules for performing spend analysis and checking inventory levels.

PeopleSofts announcement came on the heels of a similar product announcement from Ariba Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., which late last month began shipping its Ariba Enterprise Sourcing suite. Aribas software integrates with the companys Ariba Buyer platform -- which offers procurement execution functionality like contract management -- and connectivity with The Ariba Commerce Services Network, which provides access to a large base of suppliers.

Ariba, like PeopleSoft, will introduce analytics as part of a sourcing platform. The analytics engine in Aribas Spend Management suite is due sometime between December and March.

PeopleSofts Strategic Sourcing 8.4 likewise has been upgraded to help companies manage the complex bidding and negotiation processes that go along with the procurement of direct goods -- in other words, large capital expenditures, according to officials.

Managing the process is accomplished through business management workflow support for the various steps in the source-to-settlement process, including commodity spending and purchase contract compliance; Request for Quote; reverse auctioning with user defined rules and auction types; analysis of multiline quote response and contract award and fulfillment.

PeopleSofts Strategic Sourcing 8.4 is scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 2002.