PeopleSoft Launches a Hosted Midmarket Edition

Although PeopleSoft is hardly known as an ASP, the company has introduced a new portfolio of midmarket hosting- and application-management services for its front- and back-office solutions. In addition to hosting applications, the new service includes database, storage, and hardware solutions designed for companies with fewer than $1 billion in annual revenues, according to the company. "About one half of our customers are midmarket companies, and we recognized that these firms have very unique needs," says Bill Henry, vice president of marketing and strategy, PeopleSoft Global Services. "They have all the complexity of an enterprise level organization, but with limited IT staff. Now, with our midmarket hosted offering, these companies can devote their IT resources to projects that drive growth, not to maintaining software." Henry adds that the hosted midmarket solutions are built from the ground up to suit the needs of the customer, and are not simply paired down versions of PeopleSoft's Enterprise product line. "Nothing that's cut down ever works," he says. The hosting and management services are available through traditional or remote hosting options and provide three levels of service: value, enhanced, and ultimate. The value offering provides organizations with a service level agreement that delivers 99.5 percent availability. The enhanced service offers customers expanded hours of operation, inclusion of additional applications, and 99.5 percent availability. The ultimate service provides the highest level of reliability, support, and performance, with up to 99.9 percent availability and 24/7 support. Overall pricing for the hosted version varies, Henry says, because the integrated solution is customized for each purchaser's unique business needs. "One size does not fit all," Henry says. "This is an integrated piece of a company's infrastructure that is process-driven. If you are going to operate in real time, you need to integrate across operations. This is a lot more complex than the other hosted CRM solutions out there." PeopleSoft partnered with Surebridge, an application outsourcer of on-demand solutions for midmarket companies, to deliver the hosting services for the new offerings, Henry says. Amy Mizoras Konary, program manager at IDC, agrees with Henry that midmarket firms need more customized, hosted options like PeopleSoft's offering: "Midmarket companies can have complex infrastructure requirements and want direct access to expert resources. Software vendors that provide application hosting and application management services specifically designed for midsized companies are well-positioned to solve customer needs."
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