PeopleSoft has recently marked a delivery roadmap of its next major release
components. PeopleSoft 8, a fully HTML-based, Web-hosted version of the
ERP system is only a few weeks away from its official launch. A PeopleSoft
e-business portal launch is also just around the corner. At the beginning
of June, PeopleSoft also made its first shot at integrating the CRM applications
it recently acquired from Vantive with its ERP applications. The company
also mapped out the next phase of its new architecture - a suite of applications
written in HTML and Java that will build upon the Java Server.
not afraid at all to admit that client/server is pretty much dead. We're
focusing all our development toward the Internet," says John Webb, vice
president of product management for PeopleSoft's supply chain division.
PeopleSoft is a relative latecomer to the ERP fray, having gotten its
start in the human resources/payroll applications arena. Today, the company
claims only a few hundred customers in the manufacturing market, with
a focus on consumer packaged goods, high tech/electronics, and wholesale
distribution. Despite persistent perceptions that PeopleSoft is still
not a full-fledged player in manufacturing, Webb contends that PeopleSoft
is heavily engaged in that industry, in particular with makers of consumer
packaged goods. "Release 8 will be very deep in CPG," he says. "We feel
we're going to be heads above the competition there."
While PeopleSoft has so far dismally exploited its purchase of Red Pepper
several years ago, its new tack of addressing manufacturers' needs may
result in far greater success. Namely, PeopleSoft has focused its manufacturing
solutions on only the above-mentioned three industries, CPG being one.
It already has a strong customer base within these industries, primarily
with its financial and human resource management systems, but also to
a degree with its manufacturing and supply chain modules.
PeopleSoft's chances of being a true leader within these industries remain
slim, its PeopleSoft 8 product suite may give other manufacturing products
a run for their money, since it is envisioned to offer deeper new functionality
such as co-product/by-product, recipe management, improved lot tracing
management, and flow manufacturing. In addition, the PeopleSoft ERP solution
has long featured a manufacturing module with the embedded Red Pepper
APS planning engine.
may also help PeopleSoft in its particular endeavor is the change in both
the business applications climate and users' mindset. The times when features
and functions (bells and whistles) were the order winners are over. The
new selections battles are fought on the outskirts of ERP, in the CRM
and the supply chain management arenas, with very sharp vertical focus.
Assuming the above-mentioned new manufacturing functionality is for real,
bundled with CRM capabilities from its recent purchase of Vantive and
with traditionally strong analytic applications developed in house, PeopleSoft
may turn out to be a serious contender in future manufacturing and material
management software selections.
PeopleSoft remains a very strong contender in enterprise application selection
processes within the following industries: utilities, service providers,
financial institutions, public sector, insurance, and higher education.
It should be on a short list in any selection where HRMS system, financial
modules, and e-business/self-service are the main pillars of an enterprise
since the company has been touting the significant manufacturing and supply
chain product enhancements within its new release, which is due later
this year, current and potential users are advised to inform themselves
about these, particularly in the above-mentioned industries of focus.
that are in an early stage of evaluating PeopleSoft, as well as its existing
clients should negotiate incorporation of new applications components
by bundling them into the contract now at negotiated license fees, and
be wary of application integration work-in-progress. Existing users of
PeopleSoft client/server-based products may want to inquire about PeopleSoft's
future product support and/or migration strategy.
companies outside of above-mentioned industries may benefit from evaluating
PeopleSoft's product components on a stand-alone basis for their e-business
needs and leverage that information against other vendors in the selection.