PeopleSoft Moves Into Vertical Markets

By Heather Baldwin

Success in business depends on identifying and fulfilling needs in niche areas, and CRM vendors realize there’s a growing demand for a CRM solution tailored to the needs of specific industries. In response, PeopleSoft is launching a series of CRM solutions for vertical markets based on its PeopleSoft 8 architecture, a pure Internet solution released in June this year.

The first of these new solutions, PeopleSoft CRM for Financial Services, is planned for general release in December and targets global banking, insurance and brokerage institutions. “We started with the financial sector because it’s a large, attractive market in terms of potential CRM sales. Banks, brokerages and insurance agencies often compete on the basis of customer service so CRM is an appropriate application for those verticals,” says Christine Ingold, PeopleSoft’s vice president global financial services industry. In addition, PeopleSoft already has a “significant presence” in financial markets with its other software solutions. The company boasts more than 640 global financial services customers, including 64 percent of the Global 500, Ingold added.

The financial-services solution, says Ingold, will deliver flexibility in the way financial institutions represent, understand and model customer and product information. It will give banks a total picture of their clients, for example, that can help loan officers in determining loan information or showing which customers are profitable and which aren’t. Or, say a bank comes out with a new type of mortgage, says Ingold. “Historically, that needs to be programmed and developed in the loan system and then brought into the CRM solution. We’ve created the ability for it to be created in the CRM system so when a loan officer is with a customer, he can see that new mortgage and see if the customer qualifies.”

Robb Eklund, vice president CRM product marketing says PeopleSoft is taking a hard look at 14 other industries for future vertical solutions, and all will be based on PeopleSoft 8 architecture, a key to each solution’s success. Most CRM vendors, he says, create special products by taking their core product and modifying it “so you essentially end up with two different products. In that case, when they go to enhance the basic product, they also have to enhance each vertical solution because there are multiple lines of code,” Eklund explains. “We’ve done all our industry enablement on one line of code so there’s no time lag during upgrades.”