March 7th, PeopleSoft announced PeopleSoft eCenter, a next-generation
ASP providing integrated eBusiness applications. PeopleSoft eCenter is
designed to offer rapid deployment and proactive services for PeopleSoft
eBusiness applications, with single-vendor accountability and an enhanced
offers access to PeopleSoft front- and back-office applications, as well
as both buy-side and sell-side e-commerce solutions. Using an Internet
portal customized to specific business environments and users, the application
incorporates a scalable, thin client based on the PeopleSoft 8 Internet
It is available in North America and will be rolled out globally over
the next year. PeopleSoft's partnerships with certified outsourcing providers
allow customers to choose a hosting service that best meets their needs.
eCenter delivers integrated core back-office solutions such as the PeopleSoft
Human Resource Management System and PeopleSoft Financial Management.
The eCenter also hosts PeopleSoft eProcurement for sell-side e-commerce.
the second half of 2000, PeopleSoft expects to start hosting their eStore,
Customer Relationship Management suite, Supply Chain Management, solutions
for Government and Higher Education, and business intelligence solutions,
as well as non-PeopleSoft applications through eCenter. They also plan
to host trading exchanges for business-to-business buying and selling
over the Web.
They have designed eCenter to deliver an enhanced user experience through
each phase of a customer's application hosting experience. The PeopleSoft
eCenter self-service portal can be customized for companies and individual
users. It offers Vantive's eHelpDesk to enable customers to review problem
status and asset information, search for product information, and query
existing resolutions for known problems. PeopleSoft eCenter will also
provide Web chat, allowing customers to exchange information with each
company is also offering customer relationship managers as a single point
of contact for customers. These managers are dedicated to PeopleSoft eCenter
customers to escalate and expedite their service issues. The eCenter provides
dedicated 24x7 customer support. In addition, eCenter customers will have
access to PeopleSoft implementation project managers throughout the implementation
eCenter offers the reliability, scalability, and security of leading,
global e-business infrastructure providers, including Exodus Communications,
Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems Inc., MCI WorldCom, and Pilot Network
on who you listen to, PeopleSoft is either behind, or on track with their
competitors. SAP, JD Edwards, and Oracle have all made ASP related announcements
within the last year. We are also seeing mid-market ERP vendors such as
Great Plains joining the movement. Ahead or behind may be a function of
ambitious marketing departments. The true measure is application availability,
the number of customers using the solution, and how the e-business suites
are adapted to perform over the Internet.
that end, PeopleSoft may be late in relation to mySAP.com or JD Edwards.
While PeopleSoft's eBusiness is designed for organizations of all sizes,
they are focusing on rapidly growing businesses, such as start-ups and
"dot coms." The service is designed so companies can take advantage of
PeopleSoft's solutions and expertise without incurring many of the up-front
costs of a large-scale system purchase or having to manage relationships
with multiple vendors.
ASP market estimates ranging from $8 billion to $22 billion by 2003, these
companies are pushing pre-sales to lock customers into their solutions.
It's too soon to tell the ultimate "winners", but innovation, strategic
partnerships, and open connectivity will continue to dominate their offerings.
Start-ups and fast growing companies have a plethora of choices. We suggest
identifying the needs of your organization in relation to resources and
future growth. Some of the immediate benefits of the application service
provider model are access to robust solutions with limited investment
(comparatively speaking), reduced hardware costs, and limited IT resource
costs. However, additional issues such as support, scalability, and response
time need to be considered.
not mentioned in PeopleSoft's eCenter announcements, we believe that PeopleSoft
intends to maintain a License Based fee structure. Most ASP models rely
on a "pay as you go" model. If you are considering PeopleSoft's solution,
identify the fee architecture and compare it to other offerings before
signing an agreement that might lock you into a 3-5 year contract.