Communicate Anytime in Real Time

In another move towards creating a truly real-time enterprise, PeopleSoft announced last week that it will start imbedding instant messaging capabilities from IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo! in its enterprise applications. The company has also added real-time collaboration capabilities to its newly released Enterprise Portal 8.8. The goal is to allow PeopleSoft customers to easily collaborate in real time with customers, suppliers, and business partners. "The ability to exchange instant messages within applications and portal frameworks is essential for improving business efficiency across the enterprise," Rick Bergquist, CTO at PeopleSoft, said in a company statement. "PeopleSoft will be the first enterprise applications vendor to allow customers to leverage this pervasive technology to offer real-time communication between participants in a business process." PeopleSoft says the new capabilities will enable customers to take advantage of instant messaging features like presence detection, "follow-me" functionality, and privacy settings. Presence detection allows users to immediately determine whether or not a messaging partner is online. Follow-me functionality enables messages to be forwarded to different devices, such as mobile phones, or converted into speech and delivered through voicemail. The privacy settings ensure that users are not subject to unwanted communication. Instant messaging capabilities from IBM and Yahoo! are expected to be generally available to PeopleSoft customers worldwide in the second quarter of 2003, the company says. IMing capabilities from Microsoft will be generally available in the fourth quarter. PeopleSoft also announced the release of the latest version of its Enterprise Portal. In version 8.8, users have more real-time functionality, including Resource Finder, and user-driven site management capabilities. With Resource Finder users can immediately locate any resource needed to help execute a business process, the company says. For example, users can quickly find a customer who has purchased a particular product, a member of an organization who can answer a specific supplier request, or the appropriate application to create an expense report. "Organizations have now proven the value of portals internally and want to leverage those benefits outside the firewall as well, with suppliers, partners, and customers," says Craig Roth, a vice president of META Group. "This shift requires portal vendors to address the complexity of cross-enterprise relationships that can require higher volumes, dozens if not hundreds of sub-sites, and solid reliability."
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