Looking to bolster its market position, business applications vendor PeopleSoft is touting the success of its software ownership enhancement program and releasing new CRM and manufacturing technologies and other products.
Improving the user experience was a key topic here in Las Vegas at the company's annual Leadership Summit 2004, which included keynote speeches by executives as well as special guests former Vice-President, Al Gore, and former US Senator, Bob Dole.
The show opened as Oracle, which has been pursuing PeopleSoft in a hostile takeover bid, revised its offer to reflect PeopleSoft's lower stock price. At the PeopleSoft event, company CEO and president, Craig Conway, said that fending off Oracle cost the company about $US12-15 million per quarter, but no more than 25 employees had been tasked with defending PeopleSoft at any given time.
He also said that a year after the company first launched its total ownership experience (TOE) program -- which is aimed at making it easier for customers to install, maintain and manage their software -- solid progress had been made.
For instance, executive vice-president for products and technology, Ram Gupta, said PeopleSoft had five new releases that were TOE-enabled, including integration packs for out-of-the-box integration between Oracle and SAP AG software.
He also claimed that PeopleSoft had cut the time it takes to resolve customer problems by 44 per cent, reduced the number of steps to implement application updates by 80 per cent and cut overall implementation time by 20 per cent.
In a keynote speech, Conway touted the company's open integration strategy, which offers customers a Web services-based architecture that allows them to easily create composite applications that support business processes over different applications. Unlike competitors such as SAP, which recently unveiled its NetWeaver technology infrastructure, Conway claimed that flexibility and adaptability had always "been a core differentiator for PeopleSoft. I have yet to meet anyone who raves about the flexibility and adaptability of SAP."
Among the company's technology-related announcements was the rollout of its Enterprise CRM 8.9 product, which has been enhanced to be easier to use and will come with analytical capabilities, as well as partner relationship management and customer portfolio management capabilities.
Conway said CRM 8.9 had diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytical support to let customers gain more intelligence from the entire business process.
PeopleSoft also announced that it would offer a demand-driven manufacturing package that allowed companies to create more accurate supply chain scenarios and respond to changes in demand more nimbly.
The application is set to ship next month.