PeopleSoft Pushes Real-Time Enterprise
Customers tout the benefits of migrating to PeopleSoft 8
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PeopleSoft Inc. used its second annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas to hammer home its message about the real-time enterprise. Addressing a group of nearly 3,000 senior executives, PeopleSoft Chief Executive Craig Conway unveiled the enterprise software vendor's plans for four vertical flavors of its CRM suite; three modules that comprise the company's foray into human-capital management; and two new modules for its existing supply chain management suite; as well as announced several customer wins this year. But Conway and other speakers spent most of their time focused on PeopleSoft 8. Although the product began shipping last year, PeopleSoft used the gathering to emphasize the benefits of migrating to a Web-based solution using demonstrations, and customer testimonies to punctuate its message. "A year to a year and a half ago it was a vision. Today it's a reality," Conway said, regarding the real-time enterprise. Through PeopleSoft 8, BEA Systems has lowered its order-to-invoice process from 10 days to 48 hours, and Credit Suisse First Boston lowered its cost-per-procurement process from $250 to $50, Conway said. PeopleSoft declined to provide details on what percentage of its customer base is migrating to PeopleSoft 8. However, Stan Swete, senior vice president and general manager of CRM for PeopleSoft, called the product "a smashing success" so far. A panel discussion among customers extolled the return on investment and other benefits of deploying PeopleSoft 8. Rick Beers, director of supply chain technology at Corning Inc., which has 13 decentralized business units covering six industry verticals, has spent the past seven years moving its entire enterprise to a new system. Two of Corning's units are up and running on PeopleSoft 8 and the rest will follow soon, he said. "It took a large amount to upgrade to 8. It's very different for users, but--the but is the good part you get after you actually implement it," Beers said. Waiting to bring the other 11 units online will only make the process for users harder, so the company is committed to moving fast, he said. Bill Monroe, chief of operations for the Texas Education Agency, agreed that migrating does not need to be done in a "big bang" sort of way. "Being able to mix and match [with previous versions of PeopleSoft] is a benefit," said Monroe, who noted that his public agency is likely to receive a 200 percent return on investment in the next two years. Further, David Byrd, vice president of solutions at CDG & Associates, a Dallas-based consulting firm, said migration to PeopleSoft 8 is happening steadily but not at a rapid clip. On April 1 PeopleSoft warned analysts that its first quarter sales would be shy of expectations due to the soft economy. Specifically, the company warned that software license revenue would be $130 million to $135 million, below its prior forecast of about $160 million. A week before the conference, the Pleasanton, Calif.--based company officially released its financials results. First quarter earnings from recurring operations were $46 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with earnings of $36 million, or 11 cents, in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue fell to $483.3 million from $514.2 million, as software license sales, a key gauge of performance, stumbled to $133.3 million versus last year's $153.3 million. --Lisa Picarille
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