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PeopleSoft releases cost-cutting tools

The enterprise-software maker announces a package of applications and services aimed at lowering the cost of owning its products.

Enterprise-software maker PeopleSoft announced on Monday a package of applications and services aimed at lowering the cost of owning its products.

Dubbed Total Ownership Experience, the set of tools is designed to address a range of cost-cutting strategies, including increased automation for installation, configuration and tuning of PeopleSoft's applications. PeopleSoft also released six preconfigured business-process templates to aid customers with integration of PeopleSoft products and back-office software made by rivals Oracle and SAP.

The announcement was made from PeopleSoft's ongoing user conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"We are committed to providing our customers with a superior ownership experience," Ram Gupta, PeopleSoft executive vice president for products and technology, said in a statement. "The new technology we announced today will drive down costs, increase effectiveness and drive a faster time-to-benefit for PeopleSoft customers."

The company reported that Total Ownership Experience offers users of PeopleSoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software opportunities to reduce start-up times and lower administration costs, while increasing applications performance. In launching the package, PeopleSoft cited a recent study by Forrester Research that indicated 65 percent of the expenses in a typical ERP installation project are related to labor costs.

To help lower employee and consultant-related expenses, the company introduced PeopleSoft Express, an installation utility for Microsoft Windows 2000, SQL Server and BEA WebLogic environments. PeopleSoft claims the automation tool reduces ERP start-up times by up to 50 percent. PeopleSoft said the product also automates many steps for other computing environments.

Also launched in the package was PeopleSoft Setup Manager, a tool for automating applications configuration. PeopleSoft said the product reduces the number of steps previously needed to set up its applications.

Among the business-process integration tools launched by PeopleSoft to help integrate with SAP and Oracle products were templates for mating:

• PeopleSoft Enterprise Service Automation (ESA) with SAP Financials;
• PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) with Oracle or SAP Financials;
• PeopleSoft Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) with SAP Materials Managements and Financials;
• PeopleSoft CRM with Oracle Order Management, Purchasing and Inventory, and Financials; and
• PeopleSoft CRM with SAP Sales and Distribution, Materials Management, and Financials.

In order to drive down costs of operating and maintaining applications, PeopleSoft also introduced Diagnostic Framework for finding trouble spots, and Performance Monitor to provide real-time applications trend information.

The company reported that PeopleSoft Express, PeopleSoft Setup Manager for FMS and SRM, PeopleSoft Performance Monitor, PeopleSoft Change Assistant, and the new PeopleSoft user interface will become available in December. The HCM and ESA integration packs will be available during the first quarter of 2004, and the PeopleSoft CRM integration packs will be available this week, according to the company.