PeopleSoft's CRM package puts sales under scrutiny

Enterprise software supplier PeopleSoft has announced a customer data analysis module for its Peoplesoft 8 software. Users will be able to monitor real-time...

Enterprise software supplier PeopleSoft has announced a customer data analysis module for its Peoplesoft 8 software. Users will be able to monitor real-time changes in customer activity and predict future trends.

It has also announced two options for deploying the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites for medium-sized firms, writes Antony Adshead.

CRM Analytics will, the company says, enable an enterprise to gauge the effectiveness of sales, marketing and customer support activities by collecting and ordering data to provide key performance indicators.

The software suite will typically give alerts which enable an enterprise to shift the focus of its marketing, sales and service activities. For example, CRM Analytics could alert a user company that a large customer is not necessarily the most profitable because of high service costs. The key to CRM, says PeopleSoft is to identify the most effective areas for utilisation of resources in attracting and retaining customers.

Analyst Ed Thompson of Gartner advised caution for users, owing to the emerging status of the market. "We are seeing a move towards what we call customer relationship optimisation," he said. "This is the collapsing into one of all the sub-areas of CRM that currently exist, with the emphasis on real-time operational response to customer activity.

"The area is extremely fast growing with some 30 suppliers heading for the same market space and we expect 20 more to join the fray this year," Thompson added.

In the US, PeopleSoft has unveiled two turnkey solutions for users wanting to implement its ERP suites.

Peoplesoft 8 Accelerated Enterprise combines implementation services with training and financing for companies with turnovers of up to $500m (£334m). PeopleSoft says it can be implemented in eight to 12 weeks.

The company is teaming up with IBM to provide rapid hardware and software deployment in Architecture Jumpstart, its ISO 9000 certified product. The solution includes a workstation and an NT application and database server with fixed pricing to install a configured system with demos, testing, training and databases.

PeopleSoft claims installation times can shrink from 16 weeks to three.

Components of CRM Analytics

  • Marketing Insight measures performance of marketing campaigns, quality of leads and respondents' profiles

  • Sales Activity Insight measures sales against forecasts and analyses discount profiles, cycle times and fall-out

  • Support Insight evaluates service based on product quality and customer calls compared to service level agreements

  • Probability Insight identifies customer trends and tracks costs, profit and value to determine best customers

  • Read more on Business applications