At its user conference in New Orleans yesterday, PeopleSoftrevealed details of PeopleSoft 8, a new release of its flagship enterprise resource planning suite entirely redesigned for the Web. Building on Internet capabilities introduced in May with PeopleSoft e7.5, version 8 will complete the company's departure from its client-server roots to a server-centric Web architecture, featuring a thin HTML Web client. Benefits to users, the company says, include lower cost of deployment and maintenance, better application performance, and a more intuitive user interface that requires less end-user training.
Rollout of the new suite will begin by the end of the year, with availability of PeopleSoft development tools and enterprise performance management applications designed for the new architecture. The rest of PeopleSoft 8, including core ERP applications, will be delivered in the second quarter of 2000.
Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting, says PeopleSoft 8 will deliver better performance and flexibility, but adds the company is just catching up to Oracle and SAP in terms of architecture. "It's been a long time in coming," Greenbaum says.
Addressing an audience of several thousand customers, new PeopleSoft president Craig Conway emphasized in his keynote speech that the company is also reorganizing to improve customer service and support, which he acknowledged has slipped in the last year.