PeopleSoft Ships New CRM Release

By Heather Baldwin

PeopleSoft’s latest CRM release, version 8.4, hit the streets March 22 with a collection of applications geared specifically to sales, a new vertical solution for the communications industry and break-through synchronization capabilities for disconnected users that enable mobile professionals to update up to a year’s worth of information in less than 10 minutes. The new release, says Robb Eklund, PeopleSoft’s vice president of product marketing, is built on pure Internet architecture and includes four key components.

1. Mobile applications. PeopleSoft announced a mobile architecture last November, but only now is rolling out applications built on those tools. The applications – CRM Mobile Sales and CRM Mobile FieldService – enable mobile users to update opportunities in a disconnected manner, then synch those updates any time Internet access can be gained. Users could have a year of updates, says Eklund, and it would take just 6 or 7 minutes to synch them.

2. CRM for Communications. In December, PeopleSoft announced CRM for Financial Solutions, launching the first in a series of CRM solutions for vertical markets. PeopleSoft CRM for Communications, a vertical solution with functionality designed for communications companies, is the second application in the series. Customers can expect one or two more vertical solutions to be rolled out each quarter this year. “Vertical solutions are a huge emphasis for us in 2002,” says Eklund, noting that additional products likely will include government, consumer package goods, utilities and high tech.

3. Collaborative Selling. This new application, says Eklund, is an “end-to-end interactive selling solution” that enables a salesperson, after entering a customer’s answers to key questions, to come up with a product recommendation, configuration and price. The salesperson also can determine whether the product is in stock, how long it will take to deliver and even place the order right on the spot. “I’m quoting a product I know is manufacturable. I know I have inventory. I’m using up-to-date pricing and my delivery commitments are right on,” says Eklund. “The minute the order is placed, it goes right into fulfillment.” PeopleSoft CRM Collaborative Selling users also could put these tools on a Website, giving customers an unprecedented level of self-service.

4. Quality Management. The final component of release 8.4 – PeopleSoft CRM Quality Management – enables companies to manage the process of tracking product defects and enhancement requests online, in real time. Known defects and solutions can be quickly identified and future upgrades can address customer enhancement requests, all of which are captured and easily visible in the application.