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New Industry-Specific Apps From PeopleSoft

It has rolled out new CRM modules tweaked for the higher-education, revenue-management, and wealth-management markets.
Maintaining that the days of generic customer-relationship-management apps are nearing an end, PeopleSoft Corp. rolled out three vertical CRM applications Monday, bringing to nine the number of industry-focused products it has added since acquiring Vantive Corp. in 1999. The new modules--for higher education, revenue management, and wealth management--are tweaked for unique market needs.

The revenue-management app, for instance, is designed to assist financial-services and insurance companies as well as revenue-producing government agencies in contending with complex billing and rating considerations. For instance, a county that's looking to collect on property tax bills could use the software to determine which outstanding accounts would be easiest to collect, letting the county focus on more-realistic targets that will affect cash flow sooner. Financial-services and insurance companies also need a more-complete view of customers.

The wealth-management module reflects the growing worldwide population of the "mass affluent," or investors with net worth of between $100,000 and $5 million, says Steve Roop, PeopleSoft's VP of CRM marketing. Koop says the banks and capital-investment firms that handle wealthy clients have traditionally looked for investors with net worth of at least $5 million. PeopleSoft's new software is designed to give financial advisers a view of investors' net holdings across multiple financial institutions, as well as total household net worth, pending major life events.

Meanwhile, higher-education institutions face a shrinking teenage population that will lead to increased competition for students in five years, says Roop. The new education app is designed to help colleges and universities more effectively recruit and retain students, and even target alumni for fundraising activities. Tighter integration of the systems that contain student and alumni information would help in managing relationships with students over the long term--and PeopleSoft already has various combinations of administration, accounting, human-resources, and payroll applications running at more than 700 higher education institutions.

The theme PeopleSoft's new vertical products is clear: Customers want CRM to match their business needs and make use of customer data wherever it resides. "What we're seeing as the CRM market matures is clients being much more specific about how CRM must be tailored," says Roop. "The cost of configuration, customization, and integration is too high."

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