Despite the struggling economy and fears of terrorism, PeopleSoft Inc. attempted to get technology buyers thinking about CRM and enterprise applications again with its four-city road show, which kicked off in late October at New York's Millennium hotel.
The company was contemplating scraping the New York leg of its campaign after the September 11 terrorist attacks, but executives say business must move forward and "the show must go on." The packed room was filled with 150 customers and prospects who agreed and who were eager to learn more about PeopleSoft 8 CRM and its enterprise service automation (ESA) offering.
According to attendee James Despain, manager of corporate accounting at A&E Television Networks, PeopleSoft accomplished its goal. "CRM applications have come a long way in collaboration," says Despain, referring to PeopleSoft 8 CRM's use of the Internet.
PeopleSoft CEO and President Craig Conway pushed the role of PeopleSoft 8 and the Internet in the collaborative enterprise environment. "Today, it's all about the Internet," Conway says. "The Internet will change the world of business as much as it has ever changed the world of consumers. It will have as dramatic effect on business as it has had on consumers."
Conway boasts about the success and quick ramp up of PeopleSoft's ESA, which was released in February of last year. "Through word of mouth ESA became one of our most popular products. Since February  we signed 80 customers. We signed more customers on ESA than any of our other products in their first year."
Some of the capabilities of PeopleSoft ESA include the automation of buying and managing the appropriate external services for a project, locating talent that already exists inside an organization, and facilitating the payment of expenses for employees and contractors.
"Mark my words, ESA is where CRM was five years ago," assures Conway. After Conway's keynote address, PeopleSoft Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Rick Bergquist gave a demonstration of PeopleSoft 8 CRM. Craig Berkson, the chief information officer at Thomson Financial, then shared his company's strategy to upgrade from a suite of Vantive products in one divisions to an enterprisewide PeopleSoft 8 implementation.