Peoplesoft Touts Portals as ERP Interface

SINGAPORE (04/04/2000) - The user interface to ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems of the future, will be enterprise portals, "which is the doorway, the opening to the next-generation GUI (graphical user interface)," said Row Henson, vice president, Global human resource product strategy, Peoplesoft Inc.

The portals will be role-based, and personalized, said Henson. "It will be profile-driven, people-centric, and will be built based on the employee's roles, their functions, and the teams they operate in," she said.

Driving this change is the charge into the information age from the industrial age, which is changing the way IT is utilized. According to Henson, IT has gone through three business evolutions. It started with host-based systems, where the data was geared around finance, personnel directories and record-keeping.

The evolution to client/server systems saw the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that improved work processes, enhanced efficiency, and reduced cycle times.

Subsequent to automating human resources, finances, and other business processes, "the Internet has placed people at the center, where technology is an enabler," said Henson. The corporate, personalized portal arena signifies this change.

With these changes, human resource practices have also changed from being local, hierarchical, and salary packages, to companies becoming global, flattened organizations, and employees working in self-directed teams, with total compensation packages, that do not just constitute salaries.

Another factor driving the portal interface is the concept of self-service, where "employees are empowered to serve themselves," said Henson. "The worker of the future requires more control of their destiny,… and want to work in companies that help them learn as much as possible, and be enabled with technology," said Henson.

Peoplesoft is working to populate its portal via a link to a corporate intranet via an Internet backbone of PeopleSoft's enterprise resource planning applications, which could deliver updates on corporate performance, a potential client's risk-worthiness, or even how many vacation days the employee has left.

Via the Internet, the portal can also deliver personalized news, stock quotes, and other information, plus discussion bulletin boards.

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