Despite the connotations imbued in its name, IBM iSeries users will have to wait until at least the first quarter 2005 before World Express, PeopleSoft's reinvigorated Web-enabled mid-market software suite, lands in Australia.
Already available in the US and fast gaining speed in Asia, World Express is the first incarnation of a hybrid, mid-market integration of former JD Edwards iSeries clout coupled with a raft of modules aimed at specific industry verticals as a form of off-the-rack ERP.
The product targets iSeries (AS/400) mainframe users which PeopleSoft sees as experiencing moderate growth with extreme budgetary sensitivity and very limited IT resources, typically with around 100 to 500 employees.
While the product represents a strategic bulwark against the predatory intentions of competitors such as SAP, it also ships with optional modules for 32 pre-customised business processes across six key industries: industrial manufacturing, wholesale distribution, homebuilding, automotive, construction and general business and finance.
PeopleSoft's Australian managing director David Webster told Computerworld the wait for World Express would be worth it, with Australian users being able to benefit from significant localization enhancements that revolved around Australia's unique taxation and regulatory systems.
Webster said that with World Express being an off-the-shelf offering, localization work was significant, as users were not likely to want to pay for additional resources to customize the product.
He added that with around 60 percent of PeopleSoft's combined user base now being former JD Edwards customers, the vendor was determined to get things right the first time around.
Meanwhile, PeopleSoft has also launched its EnterpriseOne Rapid Start as a platform-agnostic, Web-based mid-market solution. For more information on the product, see page 24.