PeopleSoft rolls out latest hosting offering

PeopleSoft has unveiled its latest range of application hosting and management services.

PeopleSoft has unveiled its latest range of application hosting and management services.

PeopleSoft has also introduced service levels for all of its hosted services, called "value", "enhanced" and "ultimate". 

The plans offer varying customer-service response and up-time guarantees, ranging from 99.5% promised availability for the value plan through 99.9% availability for the ultimate plan.

The value plan is aimed at companies with less than $1bn in annual revenue, while the ultimate plan is intended to support large global organisations with thousands of employees, said Bill Henry, vice-president of marketing and strategy for PeopleSoft Global Services.

PeopleSoft offers application hosting services both directly and through several resellers. The service-level plans apply only to services purchased directly from PeopleSoft, Henry said.

Pricing varies widely, but Henry estimated that a simple, single application hosting package would start around $10,000 per month.

PeopleSoft is also now offering remote management for customers that want to keep their applications and servers in their own datacentres, providing them with maintenance such as applying patches and database administration.

PeopleSoft's expansion of its hosting services comes amid growth in the applications management market.

IDC forecasted that worldwide application management revenue will grow to more than $20bn by 2007, from $12.1bn last year.

A number of small ASPs (application service providers) have been winning business in the lower end of the CRM market from traditional suppliers such as PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems, which recently unveiled its own tailored hosted software service.

Companies are looking to avoid large up-front costs and improve applications performance, while dealing with pared down IT staffs, a combination of factors which will help drive the hosting market, IDC said.

"We've seen a huge growth rate around hosting," Henry said. PeopleSoft now has about 60 customers using its hosted services, he said.

Unlike Siebel, though, PeopleSoft does not plan to create lower-cost applications or services customised for hosting. While the market segment is growing quickly, it remains a small percentage of PeopleSoft's overall business.

Scarlett Pruitt writes for IDG News Service

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