PeopleSoft's Financial Management 9: Another Step Toward Fusion

Oracle on Tuesday announced the release of PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management 9, the first major release from PeopleSoft's Financial Management in 18 months. The new Enterprise Financial Management 9 answers the call for compliance in the corporate world today, while remaining cost conscious, according to PeopleSoft. The release focuses on providing a more complete Web-services offering, as well as use of Oracle Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) Process Manager and Oracle XML Publisher, both of which come out of an integration with Oracle Fusion Middleware. The release marks one point on the road map toward Fusion, according to an analyst.

Enterprise Financial Management 9 was created to answer the increasing demands for accountability and visibility today. "One of the side effects of Sarbanes-Oxley has been additional overhead related to reporting and gaining visibility into information an organization has," says John Webb, Oracle's Vice President of PeopleSoft Enterprise Product Strategy. "Reintroducing the new Web services capability and things like XML Publisher for reporting provides organizations with the ability to provide a lot more transparency at a lower cost."

The newly expanded Web services capability gives customers access to over 200 services to increase the breadth and depth of the application. The Web services, integrated with PeopleTools 8.48, will give companies the tools necessary to work through and bring together separate application systems. Additionally, the Oracle BPEL Process Manager will allow integration between business processes that depend on disparate applications or external Web sites. The new Oracle XML Publisher puts more control in the hands of the user, enabling customers to both change the format of a report and direct its output.

Enhanced capabilities in Enterprise Financial Management 9 include extended support for International Financial Reporting standards, asset lifecycle management, travel and expense management, grants management, and project management. Ray Wang, principal analyst at Forrester Research, says that the release marks a move by Oracle to help companies comply with new restrictions in the financial management market. "What's happening [with the release] is there are changes in regulatory environments," he says. "Their reporting capabilities are being expanded on from a BI perspective."

Wang explains that the release marks a move toward tighter integration between PeopleSoft and Oracle: a further stride toward Fusion. PeopleSoft's solution will by no means become completely swallowed up. "To be clear, this is not the last release for PeopleSoft," Webb says; Wang says, "PeopleSoft's customers are still extremely loyal." However, Enterprise Financial Services 9 fits within the path toward Fusion, according to Wang. Oracle, he says, is trying to move everyone to a common data model over time. "They're starting to reduce elements that will allow people to use the repository and also trying to move people towards the customer data hub so that they're on the same overarching data architecture."

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