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PeopleSoft pushes better business decisions

PeopleSoft is making good on its promise to deliver its customers applications that help executives make better high-level business decisions.

PeopleSoft is making good on its promise to deliver its customers applications that help executives make better high-level business decisions.

The business software company has announced new applications intended to turn transactional data stored in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems into information that can be used to determine how profitable entering a new market might be, how well a company is doing by quarter or by year, or the performance of a particular product line.

These systems are meant to replace traditional number-crunching methods involving calculators and spreadsheets with computer-generated ways to easily tap data information from the corporate data warehouse. PeopleSoft rivals SAP, Baan, and Oracle share similar strategies that are shifting from data to data analysis.

Businesses can use information from these new systems to help build better business strategies, and ultimately improve their worth to shareholders, said Judy Hodges, an analyst at International Data Corporation in Framingham, Massachusetts.

PeopleSoft introduced its first business analysis software in 1997, with its Performance Measurement software developed with KPMG. Last year, the company teamed with Andersen Consulting to develop a suite of profitability management software for financial organizations. PeopleSoft's new offering, called Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), expands the company's product line, giving businesses the ability to analyze profit by customer, channel, or product, chart company performance, crunch quarterly financial results, determine capital costs, and test business plans.

By the end of the year, a series of PeopleSoft Workbenches and the PeopleSoft Balanced Scorecard, which are also performance-measuring tools, should be available.

Oracle this week also announced a similar product bundle called Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM), which like PeopleSoft's umbrella of products is designed to help businesses better understand financial and other business data.

Additionally, SAP began moving into this area in 1997 when the company started building its own data warehouse called the Business Information Warehouse.

The German software giant pushed its initiative further last June, announcing its Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) application, a system designed for high-level managers wanting to analyze business practices for added value to the company and stockholders. The system enables business managers to take data stored in R/3 and peripheral systems and use it to make business decisions.