PeopleSoft goes in hard on rivals

PeopleSoft 8, launched last week, is to be the first purely Internet-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) package.Toby Poston

PeopleSoft 8, launched last week, is to be the first purely Internet-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) package.Toby Poston

Taking a swipe at its rivals SAP and Oracle, PeopleSoft announced a complete rewrite of its 108 business applications, ditching the client/server architecture. It has made them purely Internet-enabled, requiring no client other than a browser.

It also unveiled 59 e-business applications that it says will help clients collaborate with suppliers, customers and employees in running online marketplaces, supply chains or customer relations.

Peoplesoft 8's applications include role-based desktops to manage and personalise individual users daily use of the software.

All the new applications support Java, html and the XML data identification standard, meaning that they are interoperable with almost every other best-of-breed business application and compatible with databases from suppliers like Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.

Although PeopleSoft's rivals Oracle and SAP, have already produced Web-enabled versions of their enterprise software suites, the company says it has leapfrogged them.

PeopleSoft chief executive Craig Conway said that more than 14,000 application panels in the suite had been turned into Web panels, spread across 167 Web-based business applications. Oracle and SAP had merely Web-enabled old client/server application screens, he said.

"Oracle and SAP were first to market - but with a hybrid solutions. A four-month lead with inferior technology is not worth much," he said.

Conway said SAP was "clearly struggling", having failed to deliver its own customer relationship management or e-procurement packages. He described Oracle as a "sociopathic" company that blatantly misled its customers by selling products before they were released.

PeopleSoft wants users of its existing client/server-based applications to migrate to Peoplesoft 8 within three years, and has promised to support its Internet-shy customers for at least that long.

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