Locals prey on PeopleSoft customers

In the aftermath of Oracle's consumption of PeopleSoft, end users fed up with costly license arrangements are ditching the vendor in favour of better value tier two HR and payroll software suppliers.

But rather than fleeing to overseas competitors, many customers are shopping for home grown replacements.

Over recent months AMP, Fairfax, and Hydro Tasmania have all chosen to migrate away from PeopleSoft's HR and payroll solutions, Computerworld has confirmed, in favour of Brisbane-based HR systems vendor Aurion.

Financial services giant AMP told Computerworld cost reduction was a basis for outsourcing parts of its payroll rather than upgrading its PeopleSoft HR application.

AMP CIO Lee Barnett said several options were assessed, from outsourcing payroll business process to upgrading PeopleSoft HR.

"The decision was made to outsource the IT services, some of the payroll function, and retain in-house HR services based on project and operational cost," Barnett said. "A full tender process was conducted with several payroll suppliers and Aurion was successful in that process."

Barnett said AMP is pleased it has been able to support local product.

"AMP had traditionally used in-house systems and processing staff for operating its benefits administration and payroll processing," she said. "As part of our ongoing review of sourcing strategies and business processes, we saw the opportunity to not only significantly reduce the costs associated with payroll processing but also largely move this cost from a fixed to a variable cost base."

Energy company Hydro Tasmania uses JD Edwards for its financials and PeopleSoft for HR, and according to IT infrastructure manager Tony Kirsten, Aurion is a "better fit" for the organization.

Hydro Tasmania once had 2000 employees but the company has been broken up into three separate companies.

"We've moved on as an organization. PeopleSoft doesn't scale down," Kirsten said. "We're an organization of 900 people and it's not cost effective to run two ERP packages."

Kirsten said Hydro Tasmania didn't have a full PeopleSoft implementation but used it as a "glorified payroll".

Computerworld also understands that the merger of energy companies Citypower and Powercor in Victoria has resulted in Citypower dropping PeopleSoft in favour of SAP.

Aurion's Basso said the fact large enterprises are choosing Australian software over the "globals" proved a tier two providers can better tailor to local organization's needs.

"People are buying the globals because they think they are safer," he said. "That's not always the reality. In fact, tier two products are safer and cheaper. Can we scale up? We pay 40,000 Queensland public servants and benchmarked a 185,000 [record] payroll on Oracle and Solaris in three hours."

PeopleSoft was invited to comment but was unable respond before deadline.

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