PeopleSoft bets on suite 8 for Web position

PeopleSoft launched the PeopleSoft 8 e-business application suite locally last week, claiming the enterprise management solution set's "pure Internet" architecture would cut the need for businesses to use an intermediary for enterprise application management.

Taking centre stage at the PeopleSoft Asia Pacific User Conference in Cairns, North Queensland, last week, PeopleSoft president and chief executive Craig Conway told 800 delegates the vendor was back from the dead through the launch of 8, an ERP suite deployable from a Web browser.

Conway said he believes PeopleSoft 8 will help fast-track the company to lead the global ERP market. "PeopleSoft 8 has allowed us to leapfrog our competition in the ERP domain. Look at all of our competitors like SAP and Oracle - they all have code on their ERP [clients]," Conway said. "It took 2000 developers, two years and $US500 million to rewrite PeopleSoft 8 and it was completely worth it. There is no code on the client. Everything is presented on a Web screen because the Internet is easier to view. The architecture is XML-based, open to everything on the Net. It's about mixing and matching apps.

"What a difference a year makes. We're just now starting to see the impact of the Internet on the business world - the root of e-commerce is a collaborative framework. PeopleSoft is dishing up self-service applications, redesigned for the Internet. Everything you went to an intermediary for will be online."

And why was he so confident about potential return on investment for customers? Because, according to Conway, the Internet would guarantee them a competitive advantage. "The Internet allows companies to touch anyone associated with their business anytime, anywhere in the world. It'll be a competitive disadvantage if you do not have the collaborative network . . . because that's the way business will be done in the next two years," he said.

PeopleSoft 8 comprises 53 new e-business applications from CRM, human resources, supply chain management, e-learning and financials to enterprise management solutions.

Local early adopters going live with PeopleSoft 8 over the next few weeks are Foxtel with PeopleSoft 8 CRM, and telecommunications start-up Co Mindico with financial solutions. The University of NSW has deployed PeopleSoft Student Administration 8, providing students with an Internet infrastructure for online learning, support and administration.

* Helen Han attended the conference as a guest of PeopleSoft

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