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Cisco, PeopleSoft in alliance

Cisco and PeopleSoft have forged an alliance to tailor PeopleSoft's applications to take better advantage of Cisco's networking technology.

    Business software maker PeopleSoft and networking gear provider Cisco Systems said today they have forged an alliance to tailor PeopleSoft's applications to take better advantage of Cisco's routers and other technology.

    The companies will collaborate on product integration, technology development, and customer support, focusing on functions such as customer orders, payroll processing, and financial support.

    Analysts said the announcement is significant for both companies.

    "PeopleSoft wants to be a gorilla in the business applications market, and now they have partnered with the gorilla of the networking and hardware market," said Judy Hodges, an analyst at International Data Corporation. "Everybody is looking for a turnkey solution," and this will help PeopleSoft provide that solution in the end.

    Although there was no detailed dollar amount tagged to the deal, executives said both companies are pooling investments in hardware, software, and services.

    "Cisco is not reselling PeopleSoft products, or is PeopleSoft reselling Cisco products," explained Steve Behm, vice president of strategic alliances at Cisco. "It is so beneficial for each company and our customers that tracking the financial investment" doesn't come into play.

    The companies said the alliance makes sense as the use of private and public networks expands and network traffic begins to look like congested freeways. As a result, they are developing new services and software to "clear paths" for the flow of information.

    Cisco and PeopleSoft said they are currently engaged in both enterprise modeling and customer integration efforts to help customers build their networks. PeopleSoft said it also plans to integrate its applications with Cisco's upcoming CiscoAssure Policy Networking product.

    The combination of the two companies' products will mean that a network will be able to recognize a PeopleSoft application and assign it a certain level of priority. By integrating Cisco's upcoming CiscoAssure Policy Networking product into PeopleSoft applications, a network using Cisco IOS software will be able to recognize a PeopleSoft application and assign it to the level of priority it deserves.

    As reported earlier, CiscoAssure is a set of tools that will allow administrators to differentiate traffic by protocol type, automate policies, and include security, Quality of Service, and multiservice mechanisms so bandwidth can be utilized to its fullest.

    In terms of services, both companies have cross-trained their customer services personnel on networking and hardware and PeopleSoft applications, and are working on providing a technical certification program for PeopleSoft implementation partners, the companies said.

    Cisco said it will create a curriculum for, and teach classes on, networking technology at PeopleSoft University, that company's continuing education center for its customers, sales representatives and implementation partners. In addition, Cisco and PeopleSoft will jointly cross-train their sales teams and visit customer sites.

    "PeopleSoft and Cisco have pooled our resources to shape the future of the enterprise," PeopleSoft chief executive Dave Duffield said in a statement.