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PeopleSoft joins Unica to expand CRM

PeopleSoft has announced a partnership with Unica which will allow it to expand its customer relationship management (CRM) offering.

The deal will provide PeopleSoft 8 CRM customers with multichannel marketing capabilities designed to complement and extend PeopleSoft's open platform of enterprise applications in CRM and enterprise performance management.

Kevin Keane, Unica's vice-president of business development, said: "Marketing users are finding that they need to access data from multiple concurrent sources. Our application starts to shine as the user needs become more complex or if marketing is a real focus."

Unica's Affinium suite is designed to deliver deep functionality for data mining and predictive modelling, customer interaction and campaign management, and real-time personalisation and reporting. The integration of PeopleSoft 8 and Affinium will provide marketing users with immediate access to all customer and interaction data managed by the PeopleSoft platform.

Gareth Herschel, a senior research analyst with Gartner, said the majority of CRM vendors were moving to add marketing features to the sales and services capabilities currently embedded in their suites.

"As the low-hanging fruit in the business-to-business space becomes more difficult to find, CRM companies are focusing on business-to-consumer companies," he said. "Once you start getting into business-to-consumer-focused organisations, sales becomes much less relevant than marketing."

While the deal with Unica will expand PeopleSoft's current CRM offering, analysts believe the company will have to develop its own functionality to stay competitive with Oracle and SAP, both currently developing their own marketing features.

In addition, Herschel warned that while integrating the products from Unica and PeopleSoft was "theoretically feasible", the companies had yet to prove that seamless integration was possible.

"Both vendors are claiming this will work pretty much out of the box," he said. "However, they don't have any customers they can point to where it works together out of the box."

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