PeopleSoft will roll out next week additional content modules in its User Productivity Kit (UPK), an end-user software training suite, for both PeopleSoft Enterprise and Enterprise One applications.
The release of the kit will be the first to incorporate J. D. Edwards & Co. applications, now dubbed Enterprise One, as part of the training solution.
Training, an often neglected part of enterprise software, is suddenly getting more attention from major vendors, according to Michael Doane, senior vice president of professional services strategy at Meta Group Inc. While there are third-party training solutions for enterprise software, Doane said PeopleSoft was the first out with a training solution from the vendor side.
The UPK is unique in that it uses object recognition technology and captures the keystrokes, the location of the mouse, the mouse clicks, and what is typed into specific fields of an expert which can then be published in a variety of formats for training. Formats include instructor-led training documentation, Web-based training tools, and help screens.
According to Renee Knee, group vice president of worldwide education services at PeopleSoft, one of the key benefits of the UPK is the consolidation of materials, content, development, and deployment in one packaged solution.
"With companies less interested in travel, a company can publish a Web-based format and distribute it globally," said Knee.
Content is specific to the application, but the toolkit allows managers to customize for unique business processes.
However, Doane said he would like to see PeopleSoft and other vendors recognize the reality that most enterprises live in a heterogeneous software environment.
"PeopleSoft's UPK can include documents and things from other software, but it is generally about Peoplesoft and inevitably it should fall to the third party so it can take in a mix of vendors, legacy, and packaged applications," said Doane.
The biggest crisis is the lack of ownership and budget around training, according to Doane. "We polled 144 major firms and asked who owns the training function. The answer was 'we don't know.'"
The new PeopleSoft content modules are expected to ship by the end of the month.