At its Leadership Summit 2002 in Las Vegas this week PeopleSoft Inc. worked to relay the message that the time is now for the real-time enterprise.
Two points resonated at the conference: first, companies have to integrate business processes and second, business processes need to be moved to the Internet and exposed to business and supply chain partners.
To that end, the company announced its new PeopleSoft Solution Centers—lab-based implementation, optimization and upgrade consulting services to help customers implement PeopleSoft 8, the companys Internet architected suite of modules.
Initially available for mid-market customers only, PeopleSoft is now expanding its lab services to larger organizations.
Rick Beers, director of supply chain technology at Corning Inc., a manufacturer in Corning, N.Y., understands the real time enterprise message, but for him it went deeper.
"Its the first time in four years since Ive worked with PeopleSoft that Ive gotten the message," said Beers from Las Vegas. "To me its not the press releases or the products, its that PeopleSoft is beginning to deal with the human element of all this.
Beers said that the difficulty of enterprise systems is that its been all about technology, the wizardry, systems, and the latest new thing.
"Whats happening in companies like Corning is the technology is OK—its the way we are getting this to work, thats the difficulty," he said. "Its the process part of this. I cant tell you how many times Ive heard the word process at this conference."
A focus on process means a much more effective implementation and a more satisfied client base, according to Beers, who has 16 versions of PeopleSofts supply chain management software implemented at 30 different plants.
"[This also signals] a heck of a lot of growth for PeopleSoft," said Beers. "Its no longer about technology, its about how we make this work. Weve gotten over the technology fascination."
Beers said PeopleSofts message at this years conference says that supply chain is the next major focus for the company.
PeopleSoft announced yesterday two new supply chain applications, as well as four new vertical market applications for customer relationship management, a new human resources management systems suite and the 8.4 version of its Enterprise Portal.
The two new supply chain products include Strategic Sourcing and Trading Partner Manager (TPM) applications.
The sourcing application manages the source-to-settle process for all goods and services, officials said. Companies can directly generate contracts and purchase orders from bid evaluation screens, as well as identify and measure suppliers on a number of criteria.
The TPM application provides a unified way for companies to do business with partners and suppliers by simplifying—and standardizing on—the registration and engagement of suppliers.
The four CRM vertical offerings include applications specific to government, insurance, energy and high tech industries.
The Human Capital Management Solution suite enables human resource professionals to manage incentives in regard to sales force compensation, and manage performance and enterprise learning by tying individual measures back to the enterprise goals.
Finally, the 8.4 portal upgrade adds two new components, the Intelligent Context Manager, which provides the ability to predict what to do next in the context of a specific business process, and Web services integration.