PeopleSoft previews World, EnterpriseOne updates

PeopleSoft outlined at a Cebit press conference on Thursday its planned schedule of product updates for the next few months, highlighting new releases of its industry-focused EnterpriseOne suite and new functionality for its legacy World software.

PeopleSoft's 3,000 World customers will soon be able to tap into the mainframe software via the Web, when PeopleSoft releases an update enabling HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) access to the software at the end of this month. Previously, World could only be used through a direct server connection, according to PeopleSoft Chief Technology Officer Rick Bergquist, who attended the trade show in Hanover, Germany. The new version will be delivered at no charge to customers on maintenance plans, and also includes 250 core functionality and regulatory updates, he said.

PeopleSoft's EnterpriseOne customers will see the next version of that suite in May. The EnterpriseOne line is built around the applications PeopleSoft acquired through its J.D. Edwards & Co. purchase, and the company delivered in September a previously scheduled overhaul of the software J.D. Edwards had in the works. The September release included user-interface changes to bring EnterpriseOne's look-and-feel in line with that of PeopleSoft's existing Enterprise applications, but the May update will be "the first one done on our watch," Bergquist said. It features new financial and regulatory compliance updates, and a significant expansion of features to help manufacturing companies adjust their supply chains to accommodate fluctuating demand, he said.

Finally, PeopleSoft said it has signed an integration pact with vendors including IBM, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Computer Associates International, Quest Software, Segue Software and Veritas Software. Those companies will update their systems management software products to accommodate PeopleSoft's applications monitoring technology, so that customers can use a single management product of their choice to monitor a heterogeneous array of applications.

"Our commitment is to lower the cost of ownership for our applications and make them the cheapest to run and the easiest to monitor," Bergquist said. "If customers want to use (IBM's) Tivoli or (HP's) OpenView, they can."

Each vendor will be responsible for setting their own schedule for updating their software; Thursday's announcement signals their intent to devote the resources necessary to do so, Bergquist said.

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