PeopleSoft loses its head of CRM

Davis, the head of PeopleSoft Inc.'s CRM efforts, has left the company for the chief executive officer (CEO) spot at Coremetrics Inc., a developer of online analytics products. Davis served for more than two years as general manager of PeopleSoft's CRM (customer relationship management) division, overseeing a core component of the software maker's suite of back-end business applications. He was two steps away from CEO Craig Conway, reporting to Ram Gupta, PeopleSoft's executive vice president of products and technology.

Others in PeopleSoft's CRM group will handle the transition while PeopleSoft interviews candidates for the position, company spokesman Steve Swasey said. He declined to comment on whether the leading candidates are internal or external.

Davis said he thinks highly of PeopleSoft and left amicably.

"I had a lot of fun there," he said in an interview. "My issues were just that I wanted to go run my own business."

Five-year-old Coremetrics sells a hosted reporting and analytics system that captures customer and visitor information on Web sites. The service is intended to aid companies with marketing and optimizing site features.

At PeopleSoft, Davis downplayed the hosted model several months ago, when Siebel Systems Inc. said it would introduce a hosted service for customers seeking faster and cheaper CRM deployments. At Coremetrics, however, he sees that model as a key advantage.

"I still believe that in certain areas you'll see higher growth in ASPs (application service providers), and in other areas smaller (growth)," he said. "It's different in terms of usage. In the CRM space in particular, for sales and for call centers, there are limitations to what people want to do and can use in a hosted model. If you look at the analytics space, there's some advantage for getting data warehouses up and running."

For CRM, he's now a hosted-service customer - Coremetrics, which has a staff of 60, subscribes to Salesforce.com Inc.

The hosted model also has appeal for business executives, since its steady revenue stream frees them from the traditional end-of-quarter rush to close large licensing deals, Davis said. He cited that, and Coremetrics' enthusiastic customer base, as reasons he chose to join the company.

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