PeopleSoft preps new supply chain software

PeopleSoft Inc. plans to launch new supply chain planning software in May in a renewed effort to win market share from rivals including Oracle Corp. and J.D. Edwards & Co., an analyst briefed by PeopleSoft wrote in a report released Monday.

PeopleSoft has struggled in the supply chain area, as the company failed when it tried to integrate technology it acquired with its purchase of supply chain specialist Red Pepper in 1996, Patrick Walravens, managing director and senior analyst at San Francisco investment bank JMP Securities LLC wrote.

However, PeopleSoft now apparently has rewritten Red Pepper's products using its own application development tools, he wrote. The revamped supply chain planning software will be launched in early May at PeopleSoft's Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, Walravens wrote.

The new software will have special features for companies that outsource manufacturing tasks. It will also offer extensive analytic capabilities that link with PeopleSoft's Enterprise Warehouse business intelligence application, according to Walravens, who said in his report that he met with PeopleSoft executives last Friday.

Supply chain planning is a "significant potential growth area" for PeopleSoft, since the vendor has very little presence in the area today. PeopleSoft has set itself a goal to become the world's number two SCM (supply chain management), behind SAP AG, Walravens wrote. Supply chain planning is a segment of SCM.

To help achieve its growth goals, PeopleSoft plans to increase its sales team by 150 people this year. Over half the additions will be in the U.S., according to Walravens.

SCM software is meant to help enterprises run their supply chain more efficiently with the goal of reducing inventory and cost. The two main types of SCM software are planning applications and execution applications. Planning applications help determine the best way to place an order, while execution applications track the flow of goods, manage related materials and equipment, and handle financial information of the transactions.

Representatives of Pleasanton, California, PeopleSoft didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

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