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PeopleSoft upgrades to 7.5

The newest version of the business applications suite features a host of applications aimed at making it more attractive to international customers.

PeopleSoft's newest version of its business applications suite will add expanded financial and global manufacturing and distribution capabilities, including additional support for European and Economic Monetary Union currency.

PeopleSoft 7.5 will be front and center at a March 30 party in New York City held to honor its general delivery. First debuted last year at the company?s Ecosystem 1997 user conference, the new suite features a host of applications aimed at making it more attractive to international customers, the company said.

The enterprise applications package will have multilingual support for French, German, Spanish, and French-Canadian users and will expand support for the European Economic Monetary Union (EMU) for both accounts payable and receivable.

The Euro-friendly functionality is the direct result of the pan-European development and marketing alliance the company made with payroll and human resources giant ADP.

Analysts see the features brought by the agreement as a key aspect to PeopleSoft?s move into the global market where it's trying to battle German business applications giant SAP.

"This is a strong addition," Judy Hodges, an analyst with Information Data Corporation, said. "This was a weakness [for PeopleSoft] last year. The ADP codevelopment features give them the flexibility to grow business in the European sector, as well as meet the EMU challenges."

PeopleSoft also has added global human resources support to address the country-specific needs of the HR departments of its clients. Last month, PeopleSoft signed global consulting agreements with Andersen Consulting, Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group, KPMG Consulting, and Price Waterhouse in an effort to better support its multinational customers.

This is a direct attack on SAP?s strong-hold in the human resources European market, Hodges said. To be successful, PeopleSoft needed to find customers in Europe. "They now have that with ADP?s huge customer base."

In addition to the EMU and HR enhancements, PeopleSoft 7.5 also adds platform support for IBM?s AS/400.