PeopleSoft integrates AOL IM into its products

America Online Inc.'s enterprise instant messaging capabilities are now available directly through Peoplesoft Inc.'s applications, in a move designed to better tie users together in real-time collaborative projects.

The deal, announced Tuesday, directly integrates AOL's Enterprise AIM Services into PeopleSoft applications. The newly integrated IM software will be made available to existing customers through normal upgrades; it's also available in PeopleTools 8.43, which is shipping now.

"It's pulling people into the business process," said Chris Heller, director of PeopleTools product strategy at Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft. Users will be able to run AOL's free consumer instant messaging client or the enhanced AOL Enterprise version and have full compatibility with PeopleSoft applications, he said.

The new integration of the products takes place on the server, where PeopleSoft applications link with AOL's software, so users can know who is online as they work, a feature aimed at bolstering collaboration among people working on the same project. "It supports the vision of the real-time enterprise," Heller said.

Last spring, PeopleSoft reached a similar deal with Yahoo Inc., linking PeopleSoft products linked with Yahoo Messenger Enterprise Edition, he said. Tuesday's announcement extends that IM coverage to include the AOL software.

"By offering integration with AIM, PeopleSoft is the only enterprise applications vendor to deliver collaboration across major public and enterprise instant messaging networks," Rick Bergquist, PeopleSoft's chief technology officer, said in a statement.

Bruce Stewart, a senior vice president at Dulles, Va.-based AOL, said in a statement that PeopleSoft "understands that having immediate access to customers and business partners worldwide via AIM is a competitive advantage in today's business environment."

AIM is integrated into PeopleSoft's Pure Internet Architecture supporting all of the company's applications, including AppConnect, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Performance Management, Supplier Relationship Management and Supply Chain Management.

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