Sun, PeopleSoft join on CRM deal

Sun Microsystems Inc. and PeopleSoft Inc. announced a global alliance Wednesday that will see the two companies build and sell CRM (customer relationship management) solutions for the communications and brokerage industries.

Through the partnership, PeopleSoft and Sun will offer PeopleSoft's enterprise CRM software on Sun's Solaris 8 operating system. PeopleSoft's reliance on Java makes the alliance a no-brainer, officials from both companies said in a teleconference.

"Enterprise customers using PeopleSoft's CRM solution on Sun's platform can manage the entire customer life cycle at every touch point," said Doug Kaewert, vice president of market development at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun. "It's sales, it's marketing, it's service through all the service channels."

By focusing on brokerages and communications companies, Sun and PeopleSoft are playing to their strengths, said Robb Eklund, CRM marketing vice president for Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft. For example, PeopleSoft holds a 43 percent market share in the communications industry, and Sun "is the top hardware vendor there," he said.

"Since CRM deployment is mission-critical and system failure directly results in lost revenue, brokerages need a trustworthy solution," Eklund said.

The two Silicon Valley companies, which have been allies in various undertakings for more than a decade, also will collaborate on development and customer service initiatives in Sun's iForce Ready centres.

Kaewert said the companies recently completed a performance benchmark on Sun Enterprise Servers that supported more than 20,000 concurrent users with an average response time of 0.685 seconds.

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