PeopleSoft Inc. will set its sights a bit lower this week when it announces a hosted solution targeted at the mid-market.
Calling it a better fit for the mid-market than their current offering, the new offering has a redesigned architecture to lower infrastructure support costs, according to Don Duszynski, vice president of global services hosting.
"We are using Microsoft (Corp.) SQL as the database rather than Oracle (Corp.) Rather than a SAN we use hard disk arrays," said Duszynski.
Under the aegis of PeopleSoft Global Services (PGS), the service will also include a "personalized support model." Each customer will be assigned a client manager who will have an in-depth understanding of that customer's environment, Duszynski said. The client manger will be responsible for maintenance, planning, bug fixes, and patches.
PGS will allocate no more than five customers to a client manager depending on size of enterprise and number of products that are supported.
The hosted service, targeted at companies with less than US$1 billion in annual revenues, will also include a self-service help-desk and a customer portal to allow users to check billing and invoicing online, log an issue, set a priority, or route through to the self-service system.
Industry analysts said that PeopleSoft applications and application management services along with the infrastructure hosted at Surebridge Inc., an ASP that currently hosts its own PeopleSoft solution, is a good combination.
"SureBridge is a company focused on the mid-market space for many years," said Amy Mizoras Konary, program manager for software pricing, licensing, and delivery at IDC.
According to Mizoras Konary, the current partnership with Hewlett-Packard Co. which hosts PeopleSoft's enterprise solution since 1999 was more suited to larger companies with stringent requirements on the enterprise side.
"With the Surebridge partnership, PeopleSoft gains a right size backend that is more affordable for midsize customers," Mizoras Konary said.
While on its face, Monday's announcement may appear to be an answer to Salesforce.com Inc.'s recent successes in smaller markets, Chris Ambrose at Gartner Inc. sees it differently.
"Essentially companies like Salesforce.com were built from the ground up as a pure ASP, but PeopleSoft's offering is essentially a hosted solution to its existing software. Enterprises turn to PeopleSoft solutions first and then decide to have it delivered in a hosted model," said Ambrose, research director at Gartner.
The software modules in the mid-market offering are "exactly the same" as PeopleSoft's current offerings, said Duszynski.
"There is no cut-down in capabilities. Mid-enterprise businesses are extremely complex, so they get identical software -- we are just running it in a more efficient environment," said Duszynski.
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