Frank Anderson, country manager of Peoplesoft NZ, is to leave the company on May 19. The New Zealand operation will be restructured, with a newly recruited customer services director, Stewart Gibbs, who has come across from J D Edwards. There will also be two salespeople (in recent months, Peoplesoft NZ only had one) plus pre-sales and account management staff.
Gibbs will essentially head the company here, though he will probably not have the formal title “country manager.” But Anderson denies this signals any downgrading of New Zealand presence. “We’ll have the same headcount as we have had - about 20 people - and the operation is actually being strengthened [by the additional salesperson]” he argues.
Mike Smith, the previous director of customer services moved to a position with Peoplesoft in the US late last year. Anderson found himself doing some of the customer service work. “My background is more sales focused,” he says.
He has been in the position for two years, he adds, “and I just felt like moving on to do something else.” He thought the company here was in need of the restructure, which has now been put in place, after discussions between Anderson and Asia-Pacific vice-president Andrew Barkla. Following that “they don’t really need me,” he says. Anderson does not yet have a definite next job in mind. "I haven't made up my mind what I'm going to do," he says.
He admits that over the past six months, business has been a bit slow in what he prefers to describe as the “applications” field rather than ERP – “there are few customers here who have implemented a full ERP suite; most just replace financials and HR." Part of the low ebb was due to Y2K work and a not unexpected slowdown in January and through the America’s cup period. But business is picking up now, he says; “we’re responding to five or six RFPs or RFIs.”