PeopleSoft Inc. has unveiled 13 products aimed at midsize companies. The modules are designed to streamline various business processes such as procurement, hiring and customer service. The new mid-market products are not PeopleSoft’s first; the vendor already offers versions of its core human resources, customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) products tailored to midsize enterprises with between US$50 million and $500 million in revenue. To date, 25 percent of PeopleSoft’s customer base – and 40 percent of new customers signed in 2002 – are midsize companies.
With its expanded lineup, PeopleSoft hopes to capitalize on an up-tick in software spending among midsize companies. One factor driving such enterprises to invest in new software is system obsolescence, says Jeffrey Read, vice president and general manager of PeopleSoft’s mid-market division. Whereas large enterprises replaced their existing systems to prepare for Y2K, “mid-market companies for the most part did not replace their systems, they repaired them,” Read says. “Since being repaired five to seven years ago, these systems are now at the breaking point.”
Experts agree the mid-market is ripe for buying business software. Research firm Access Markets International (AMI) estimates the number of small and midsize businesses using CRM software – packaged and homegrown – could expand by 70 percent this year over 2002 levels. The number of midsize businesses adopting enterprise resource planning (ERP) or SCM software could grow by 20 percent in 2003, AMI estimates.
Among PeopleSoft’s 13 new mid-market products are Financial Management, which automates the process of recording, transforming, closing and measuring financial data; Resource and Project Management, for planning and executing projects; Recruit Workforce, for recruiting, evaluating and hiring new employees; and AppConnect, for integrating PeopleSoft software with third-party applications.
Each is available for a fixed price and can be implemented on an accelerated schedule. Pricing for the 13 new products starts at $50,000 and includes an unlimited user license plus training and implementation services. The products can be implemented in as few as 70 days because “mid-market companies like to see results the quarter after they spend the money,” Read says.
PeopleSoft is not alone in going after midsize enterprises. Rivals such as Oracle Corp., SAP AG and Siebel Systems Inc. also offer CRM, ERP and SCM software tailored to the mid-market. In addition, Microsoft Corp. is bolstering its nascent lineup of ERP and CRM software for small and midsize companies – which it gained through its acquisitions of software makers Great Plains and Navision.-- Network World Fusion
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