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PeopleSoft Checks Off To-Do List

Plans include behavior modeling, predictive analysis, and CRM additions
PeopleSoft Inc. developers are building prototype software designed to put rows and columns of data in a database into an understandable context such as employee records or purchase orders for users. That would make it easier for workers using PeopleSoft applications to build reports that analyze a wide range of data.

"Reporting is still living in the dark ages," says Ram Gupta, products and technology executive VP at PeopleSoft. The data-abstraction technology is still more than a year away from appearing in PeopleSoft products. The company also is developing predictive-analysis capabilities and customer-behavior modeling for its customer-relationship management apps and analytics for operational software such as manufacturing and supply-chain management applications.

Those were a few of the tidbits revealed last week at PeopleSoft's user conference in New Orleans. Attendees also got a peek at capabilities the vendor is developing for its enterprise resource planning and CRM applications.


Craig Conway

PeopleSoft continues to invest in its products, CEO Conway says.
PeopleSoft's research and development to-do list includes information access, workflow capabilities, and--for CRM apps--built-in instant messaging and E-mail.

PeopleSoft executives say the company continues to spend heavily on developing products. It spent $87.5 million on product development in its second quarter ended June 30, an increase of more than 18% from the same period last year. "Even though it's been a tight year with the tough economy, we've continued to invest in our products," CEO and president Craig Conway says.

Closer to completion are instant-messaging and E-mail capabilities the vendor is adding to release 8.8 of PeopleSoft CRM, slated for debut in December. Those capabilities, built into the application's browser interface, will improve the software's customer-service and-support capabilities, letting service representatives simultaneously communicate with customers and view transaction information.

The capabilities also will improve communications between managers and field sales representatives, says Lori Faris, corporate services senior VP at Carreker Corp., which provides custom software and services to banks and uses PeopleSoft's CRM applications. "We've really needed a way to get real-time information to our employees across the globe."