PeopleSoft Unveils PeopleSoft 8

Beleaguered PeopleSoft, playing catch-up with competitors Oracle and SAP, finally unveiled PeopleSoft 8, the Internet version of its ERP suite. PeopleSoft argued that the long-delayed version of its software was worth the wait, claiming that PeopleSoft 8 is the only ERP suite offering a "pure Internet" interface for its applications.

Characterizing Oracle and SAP Internet-enabled offerings as "client-server over the Web," PeopleSoft execs said their company's applications now have the look and feel of Web applications, rather than Windows applications running within a browser. To back up their claims, the execs pointed out that PeopleSoft 8 now includes 167 Web-based applications, 108 of which have been rewritten so that user interfaces are actual Web pages delivered to a browser. The remaining applications are completely new.

PeopleSoft's standard suite includes PeopleSoft Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management, Financials and Professional Services Automation, as well as solutions for vertical markets. PeopleSoft is calling the 58 new applications collaborative software, applications that extend back-end processes to employees, customers and partners. Users access the collaborative applications via portals that personalize business content to their specific needs.

PeopleSoft 8 also incorporates front-office CRM applications from Vantive's CRM products, acquired when PeopleSoft purchased Vantive last year. For its newly released offerings, PeopleSoft has also partnered with Verity to integrate Web search functionality into PeopleSoft 8. The integration allows users to search for data in their ERP systems.

Powering PeopleSoft 8 is the PeopleSoft Internet Architecture, an open platform based on HTML and XML. The architecture's openness, the company claims, allows PeopleSoft applications to integrate easily with third-party software, while the server-centricity of the architecture allows users to access applications with nothing more than a browser.