Business applications supplier PeopleSoft is to release new CRM and manufacturing technologies.
The company's annual Leadership Summit 2004 show opened as Oracle, which has been pursuing PeopleSoft in a hostile takeover bid, revised its offer to reflect PeopleSoft's lower stock price.
Company chief executive officer and president Craig Conway noted that fending off Oracle cost the company some $12m (£6.8m) to $15m a quarter, but he said no more than 25 employees have been tasked with defending PeopleSoft at any given time.
He also said that a year after the company first launched its total ownership experience (Toe) programme - aimed at making it easier for customers to install, maintain and manage their software - solid progress has been made.
Ram Gupta, executive vice-president for products and technology, said PeopleSoft has five new releases that are Toe-enabled, including integration packs for out-of-the-box integration between Oracle and SAP software.
In addition, he claimed that PeopleSoft has cut the time it takes to resolve customer problems by 44%, reduced the number of steps to implement application updates by 80% and cut overall implementation time by 20%.
In a keynote speech, Conway touted the company's open integration strategy, which offers customers a web services-based architecture that allows the easy creation of composite applications that support business processes over different applications.
Unlike competitors such as SAP, which recently unveiled its NetWeaver technology infrastructure, Conway claimed that flexibility and adaptability have always "been a core differentiator for PeopleSoft. I have yet to meet anyone who raves about the flexibility and adaptability of SAP".
Among the company's technology-related announcements was the roll-out of its Enterprise CRM 8.9 product, which has been enhanced to be easier to use and will come with analytical capabilities, as well as partner relationship management and customer portfolio management capabilities.
Conway said CRM 8.9 has diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytical support to let customers "gain more intelligence from the entire business process".
PeopleSoft will also offer a "demand-driven" manufacturing package that allows companies to create more accurate supply chain scenarios and respond to changes in demand more nimbly. The application is set to ship next month.
Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld