PeopleSoft once again turns to the payroll to grow
The Pleasanton, California-based software firm today announced a
partnership with IBM to integrate IBM's
HR Access International Payroll product with PeopleSoft's popular human resource
The deal will give PeopleSoft access to IBM customers in 35 countries,
particularly the lucrative European market. PeopleSoft is also pitching the
deal as a quick remedy to European and multinational companies' Year 2000
PeopleSoft signed a similar deal with payroll giant Automated Data Processing (ADP) several
years ago for help in building a European payroll product. The result of
that alliance will be available as part of PeopleSoft version 8, due out
The IBM deal is acting as a sort of placeholder
for PeopleSoft while it gets its internally and ADP-developed product ready
for market. But executives at the company insist the IBM deal is a
long-term partnership and not a short-term fix.
The IBM product "is not complimentary but it is not actually a conflict
either," said Mark Lane, international marketing manager for PeopleSoft.
"We will absolutely continue this relationship after Release 8. This is not
a short-term relationship. Although some customers are just interested in
it as a Year 2000 fix, IBM has many loyal customers who will want the
integrated product. Also, some of our customers are not willing to take
release 1 of our payroll."
Another factor is PeopleSoft's need to push into global markets. While PeopleSoft is
one of the top vendors in the global enterprise resource planning software market,
the vast majority of its market share is North American customers. Most of
the leading ERP players, like Germany-based SAP, Netherlands-based Baan, and even U.S.-based Oracle, have solid leads in international
Great Britain and France will be the first two countries to get a taste of
the Big Blue/PeopleSoft product. The companies are rolling out the
integrated system to the countries in the beginning of the third quarter of
1999, with deployment in other regions to follow.
"We have a very fast growing installed base of international customers in
Europe. More than 400 enterprises are using PeopleSoft's product with about
300 running the HR product," Lane said. "About half of our HR product
installations are in [the United Kingdom and France]. So we think it is
important that we address these two first. Within a very small time frame
afterward, we will be attacking the other major economies in Europe."