The First PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9 Product
Oracle is rolling out products in the PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9 family, which the company contends will help move companies toward SOA. The first offering, PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management 9, is equipped with budgeting, cost tracking, and reporting enhancements, and is available now.
At its core, the learning management product, which complies with AICC/SCORM standards, targets certification and compliance. Oracle intends to help companies better comply with mandates that require employees to stick to corporate, local, and federal regulatory guidelines. While the release delivers reporting features for tracking certification completions, compliance, and audits, it also includes a new preemptive notification capability designed to help keep employee certifications and training current. The product, which supports e-signatures, also allows administrators to waive, revoke, expire, and reissue a certification, according to the company.
It also features enhanced support for mobile workers with disconnected learning capabilities that have been extended through integration with BackWeb Technologies, a provider of offline and mobile Web software and certified partner in the Oracle PartnerNetwork. Employees can access the learning app without being connected to the network, according to Oracle. Their progress and scores are then uploaded to the application once they reconnect.
The latest version of PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management is available as a standalone offering or as part of the PeopleSoft Enterprise application suite. PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9 integrates with Oracle Fusion Middleware, a software platform that enables integration and interoperability. PeopleSoft Enterprise's integration with Fusion Middleware allows customers to leverage other Oracle offerings like Oracle XML Publisher, Oracle Business Activity Monitoring, and Oracle Customer Data Hub, according to the company.
Other PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9 announcements that will be issued this year include enhancements to PeopleSoft Enterprise Customer Relationship Management (delivering new features to boost CSR productivity), PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Service Automation, and PeopleSoft Enterprise Asset Lifecycle Management. PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Supplier Relationship Management, and PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management will also be announced with enhanced functionality this year. With PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9, Oracle also plans to expand industry-specific capabilities in verticals like public sector, healthcare staffing, financial services, communications, and higher education, according to the company.
The suite is intended to extend Oracle's "Applications Unlimited" initiative, a program crafted to help customers continue using current applications by delivering support and product development. Oracle, which completed its takeover of PeopleSoft in January 2005, previously announced that it would continue to enhance and support PeopleSoft's product lines until at least 2013. As part of the program, Doris Wong, an 11-year PeopleSoft executive with more than 22 years of enterprise app-development experience, has been appointed as general manager for the PeopleSoft Enterprise product line, according to Oracle.
"This release is the culmination of a year-long project to deliver on customer requested enhancements and integrate core components of the Oracle Fusion Middleware family with PeopleSoft applications," Wong said in a written statement. "Forward-thinking architects and developers are addressing the complexity of their application and IT environments with SOA to create modular business services that can be easily integrated and reused, creating a truly flexible, adaptable IT infrastructure. PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9 allows customers to continue down a path toward SOA."
PeopleSoft is just one of the scores of companies that Oracle has scooped up over the last 18 months, including CRM rival Siebel Systems, in order to fill expertise gaps and strengthen itself against competitor SAP. The company has also tacked on to its lengthy acquisition scroll niche players like retail-focused Retek and ProfitLogic, and most recently Telephony@Work, which specializes in software infrastructure for carrier-hosted contact center services. Last week Oracle announced that applications new license revenues are up 83 percent, which includes acquisitions.
Ellison and company are quite busy these days, but "they are keeping their messaging consistent in saying that they are going to continue to develop, support, and release new products under the PeopleSoft brand," says Martin Schneider, enterprise software analyst at The 451 Group. They're "not...abandoning that user base."
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