The "Total Ownership Experience" strategy launched by PeopleSoft in May to reduce the cost and complexity of running its software, was a focal point Tuesday at the PeopleSoft Connect user conference.
Executive vice president of products and technology Ram Gupta said PeopleSoft will release some of the several dozen tools and changes it is developing under the initiative In December.
The company's goals include reducing application installation times from weeks to days and cutting configuration times from months to weeks. Toward that end, PeopleSoft will soon release Setup Manager, a wizard-like tool offering a step-by-step guide through the process of implementing an application.
PeopleSoft also aims to simplify user interfaces in applications and ease software management. A task-oriented interface is intended to reduce the time needed to complete common tasks and to offer more intuitive navigation between applications.
Forthcoming management tools include PeopleSoft Performance Monitor, a real-time operations tracker for use in locating bottlenecks, and PeopleSoft Change Assistant, a tool for automating the process of installing software updates and patches.
"This is about reducing the IT cost associated with the care and feeding of an application," said PeopleSoft chief technology officer Rick Bergquist when he summarised the TOE campaign last week. "We think the software industry needs to, in essence, step up and provide software with better quality, performance and look and feel."
The TOE initiative was controversial within PeopleSoft's user community when it was introduced because of its focus on short-term improvements to the upgrade process rather than a long-term overhaul, according to Peg Nicholson, the outgoing president of PeopleSoft's International Customer Advisory Board (ICAB).
Still, ICAB is optimistic that TOE's results will line up with itsown goals for maintenance and upgrades improvements, she said.
"(TOE is) a direct result of themes ICAB has hammered on the customers' behalf for years," she added.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service