• August 14, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

PeopleSoft CRM Resurfaces

Oracle today made available PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM 9, the latest enhancement to the product line as part of Oracle's continued commitment to support PeopleSoft customers. CRM 9 adds a number of features for the communications and financial services verticals, but more important it demonstrates that Oracle is not ignoring the loyal and sometimes overlooked PeopleSoft install base while moving toward Fusion middleware integration. "Oracle is positioning this release as a continuation of the Applications Unlimited program," the company's promise to keep upgrading individual product lines, says Doris Wong, vice president and general manager of PeopleSoft Enterprise. "We will continue to deliver updates around three main themes: adaptable industry and business processes, enhanced functionality for a superior ownership experience, and greater value through next generation technology." PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM 9 adds 19 new Web service transactions and 70 service operations, for better integration with SOA platforms. In addition, a BPEL process manager allows quicker creation and dissemination of new business processes. CRM 9 has an improved interface as well, with hotkeys for automatically entering commonly typed text, bulk order capture, improvements to calendaring and lead import, and mobile sales support for Intellisync Mobile Suite (IMS). Communications industry customers will be better able to support their businesses on PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM 9, according to Oracle. Improved order and service management, wireless market support, and business process management for mobile phone account support are intended to make service deployment quicker and more cost effective. Financial services customers will also find enhanced business processes for account creation, and lead and referral management, as well as Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP), which can make PeopleSoft CRM 9 content visible in third-party portals. "The technology is an incremental improvement for the existing customer base," says Bill Band, principal analyst of enterprise applications at Forrester Research. "They will find it attractive, and have less incentive to make a change in their CRM systems." Band says the enhancements are a good strategic move for Oracle to maintain the customer base and keep its hands on the maintenance revenue stream. By upgrading PeopleSoft, Oracle is showing serious intent to maintain separate product teams and offerings, even as it moves them all toward full Fusion integration. "This is a significant announcement in relation to Oracle's go to market strategy with all its CRM brands," Band says. "PeopleSoft has been pretty invisible since last year and all the other acquisitions. "Oracle is considering the customer point of view--a large and loyal customer base deserves attention." Related articles: The First PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9 Product
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