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PeopleSoft Advances To GO With New Tools

PeopleSoft Inc. is smiling wide this week with the release of new business automation software, tools and a support system too boot.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based business software maker Monday released a host of products to combat competitors Oracle , Siebel and SAP in the Web services space.

The company's upgrade to its Enterprise Portal includes a new Intelligent Context Manager and enhancements to strengthen its Web Services capabilities.

The portal's Intelligent Context Manager proactively prompts users with relevant information when they initiate transactions. The information is automatically displayed enabling users to intelligently navigate through the business process. For example, using a traditional portal approach, an accounts payable clerk would see that a customer is overdue on a payment. The clerk would typically send the account to a collections department or agency -- never knowing there is a large sales opportunity in the pipeline. With Intelligent Context Manager, the clerk is directly notified of the sales opportunity at the same time he or she is accessing the receivables information.

"While other enterprise application vendors are struggling to integrate portal technology across the enterprise through costly acquisitions, PeopleSoft continues to leap-frog the competition by delivering breakthrough technology that is unmatched in the industry," said PeopleSoft Technology Division vice president and general manager Peter Gassner.

The company also announced the availability of its Strategic Sourcing and Trading Partner Management modules.

With Strategic Sourcing, PeopleSoft said companies could directly generate contracts and purchase orders from bid evaluation screens, and better identify and measure suppliers than before.

PeopleSoft's Trading Partner Management offers a unified interface to manage any type of electronic trading relationship. Companies can choose from multiple communication methods, including FAX, EDI, XML, Portal or Web Services.

With all the new products, you'd think the company's sales staff would be dizzy for the rest of the year. But, PeopleSoft Tuesday expanded its Solution Centers.

The company's new offering is a lab-based implementation, optimization, and upgrade consulting service. Initially available for mid-market customers, PeopleSoft's lab services have expanded to support larger organizations. PeopleSoft Solution Centers enable customers to deploy PeopleSoft 8 pure Internet applications faster.

"The PeopleSoft Solution Center consultants have extraordinary PeopleSoft product knowledge and expertise," said Randy Baker, IS manager at Richmond Power and Light, the largest municipally owned utility in Indiana. "We have been very impressed with the high quality training PeopleSoft consultants provide to our IT team. PeopleSoft offered us a fixed-price implementation within a set timeframe, something other enterprise applications providers could not offer."