RealTime IT News

PeopleSoft Makes Waves With UPK

In an effort to enable organizations to create customizable content for documentation, support, and Web-based training, PeopleSoft Monday announced the release of its User Productivity Kit, otherwise known as UPK.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company also announced that it has selected a product from King of Prussia, Penn.-based Global Knowledge as the development and delivery platform for this solution.

The announcements came on the opening day of PeopleSoft's 2003 Fall PeopleSoft CRM Customer Summit at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, Calif. They also followed on the heels of PeopleSoft's latest acquisition, an October 7 purchase of the Demand Flow software from JCIT International.

The new productivity kit, which will be available generally by Dec. 1, provides organizations with a synchronized platform to produce, deploy, and publish training content in a variety of formats within a single authoring session. The solution includes comprehensive and proprietary end-user training content developed that can be used "out of the box" or modified to meet a customer's unique needs.

According to Bill Henry, vice president of strategy and marketing, it also provides organizations with the ability to quickly update and distribute training content based on application deployment schedules or changes in business processes.

"Rapid user adoption of new applications can make or break an organization's implementation," said Henry, who works for the company's Global Services group. "[Thanks to] the PeopleSoft User Productivity Kit, the faster end users are comfortable and competent with software, the sooner organizations can realize a return on their investments."

At the center of the UPK is a Global Knowledge product called the OnDemand Personal Navigator. This product is a synchronized content development platform that provides enterprise-wide support for the entire application lifecycle. Henry said that PeopleSoft plans to use OnDemand to develop pre-packaged and customizable training materials for selected applications, then bundle the OnDemand Developer with that content in the first half of next year.

The company also plans to offer a UPK developer version for sale without any content at all, designed specifically for highly customized implementations and in non-English speaking markets.

Whichever version of the UPK customers buy, experts say the approach enables customers to accelerate user adoption and maximize their investment in PeopleSoft solutions.

"Acceptance and adoption by end-users is critical to realizing the value and payback of enterprise software applications," said Cushing Anderson, an analyst with Framingham, Mass.-based research firm IDC. "Vendors that enable quick, customizable, and global training will help customers maximize the effectiveness of end-user education and ultimately, the application itself."

The PeopleSoft UPK currently supports a variety of languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Swedish. When the developer version is released next year, the solution will have the capacity to support as many as 200 different languages, Henry said.