PeopleSoft projects rapid integration

Commitment to customers, product development and the real-time enterprise was the message PeopleSoft's executives proffered to approximately 11,000 attendees here at the company's annual user conference

Commitment to customers, product development and the real-time enterprise was the message PeopleSoft's executives proffered to approximately 11,000 attendees here at the company's annual user conference.

On Tuesday, Ram Gupta, the company's executive vice president, products and technology, confirmed PeopleSoft's commitment to integrating its products with those of JD Edwards — a rival the company bought back in June — and leveraging each company's intellectual property to build new products.

"Our strategy is about keeping, improving and expanding our portfolio," Gupta said.

Integration will take place over the next 90 days, he added, explaining that some JD Edwards products have already been given a makeover, now sporting the look-and-feel of PeopleSoft applications.

Gupta said integration between the two companies' offerings was easy because both had products that already supported open- and third-party platforms.

"PeopleSoft has an industry standard enterprise portal, and JD Edwards had engineered its products so it could publish content into any portal," Gupta explained.

In Canada, JD Edwards has about 400 customers while PeopleSoft has approximately 300. Only 14 of those customers use products from both companies, said Toronto-based Peter Smith, regional vice president, PeopleSoft Canada, Global Services. This means almost all of these customers stand to gain more functionality as products integrate, he noted.

PeopleSoft said it will continue to support products for IBM's AS400 platform, now called PeopleSoft World. JD Edwards' products are being funnelled into the PeopleSoft EnterpriseONE platform for the midmarket, which will gain the analytics contained in PeopleSoft applications.

For the large enterprise market, PeopleSoft is incorporating capabilities from JD Edwards' products into its offerings, and are calling this family PeopleSoft Enterprise.

Increasingly, companies are shrinking away from large-scale deployments and are taking an incremental approach that is more based on business needs, Smith said.

As such, PeopleSoft is also taking an approach to decrease implementation time from months to weeks by including six new Process Integration Packs to enable integration between Oracle and SAP products, thereby saving both time and money, the company said.

Along with the integration packs, PeopleSoft Express is a new installation technology for Microsoft's Windows 2000, SQL Server and BEA Systems' WebLogic environments.

The company is also including a Setup Manager that will automatically configure enterprise functions and business processes, PeopleSoft said.

Finally, PeopleSoft offered a glimpse of an upcoming technology that runs on the company’s enterprise portal and is dubbed "Project Beethoven." It will leverage instant messaging to enable users to communicate with contacts at PeopleSoft in real-time to get product support and up-to-date contact information.

Rick Berquist, chief technology officer at PeopleSoft, did not say when Project Beethoven would be available.

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