RealTime IT News

For PeopleSoft, a Promise Kept to J.D. Edwards

Following up on a pledge to support J.D. Edwards' customers after it bought the business software company, PeopleSoft officials are launching a hosting and application management support product for mid-market customers.

The new offering, announced Monday, is offering hosted services normally reserved for major Fortune 100 companies to mid-market customers: storage, database and hardware outsourcing, round-the-clock support and access to a dedicated "client manager."

When the Pleasanton, Calif., enterprise application software maker sealed the deal regarding its acquisition of mid-market enterprise application provider J.D. Edwards in August 2003, officials went out of their way to assuage the fears of customers who thought they would be assimilated into the big-business software maker and forgotten.

PeopleSoft's "eCenter" has an existing contract with Hewlett-Packard to provide its large-company customers with off-site management of services such as software/hardware patches and data storage.

For the mid-market, however, PeopleSoft went with a lesser-known company to provide services support: Surebridge, an application outsourcer that provides "On Demand" (or pay-as-you-go) services catering to the SMB sector. The company has been a major partner of PeopleSoft through its Gold Partner program for years now, and amassed a client base of approximately 75 companies who want a hosted capability to go with their PeopleSoft software.

Bill Henry, PeopleSoft director of global services, said the company looked at 33 different services providers to bring a mid-market touch to a hosted platform.

"We had focused on having a flagship hosting product up-market, and HP was a great partner to do that," he told internetnews.com. "But when looked at the mid-enterprise offering for companies with revenues under a $1 billion, we found Surebridge has the best fit for the solution that we want to offer.

To bring enterprise-grade services to the mid-market, Henry said they've modified the product to meet the financial requirements a mid-market company has compared to a large company.

Instead of an Oracle-based or DB2 (IBM) database, mid-market companies can go with Microsoft's SQL Server; disk drive storage tied to the company's configuration, as opposed to a storage area network .

Henry wouldn't characterize the new hosting program as targeting J.D. Edwards customers, but to its entire client base of mid-market companies (of which J.D. Edwards makes a significant part).

"This is a key part to the PeopleSoft approach to offer a more comprehensive approach to solutions for the mid-market," he said.

The new service is tiered along the same lines as PeopleSoft's existing package, but tailored to handle companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenues.