PeopleSoft to announce 5-year deal for applications suite

PeopleSoft Inc. this week is expected to announce a five-year deal with the U.S. Mint for its suite of manufacturing distribution and financial applications in a contract valued at about $11 million.

The Mint selected PeopleSoft after reviewing other vendors including Baan Oracle Corp. and SAP America Inc. The Mint is thought to be among the first federal agencies to purchase a suite of commercial off-the-shelf software covering the entire enterprise.

"We're certainly one of the first to basically implement an entire enterprise resource planning system " said John Mitchell deputy director of the Mint.

The Mint plans to make PeopleSoft's software a key part of its Consolidated Information System (COINS) the agency's enterprise resource planning system. Mitchell said the agency required a system "where we have online real-time information at our fingertips" to manage the Mint's operations and respond to customer inquires.

The 200-year-old agency oversees manufacturing facilities in Denver Philadelphia San Francisco and West Point N.Y. The Mint also manages a commemorative-coin program that Mitchell said competes in the international collectibles market. In addition the Mint oversees the U.S. Bullion Depository in Fort Knox Ky.

The Mint contract signals a trend in the federal sector toward purchasing integrated business applications said Jim Hicks director of sales for PeopleSoft's federal operations. "People like the idea of having it integrated " Hicks said. He called the Mint contract "a true enterprise agreement" in that it covers a range of application areas.

Joshua Greenbaum a senior consultant with Hurwitz Group Inc. said PeopleSoft's sale to the Mint is significant in that it gives credibility to the company's enterprisewide software strategy. PeopleSoft has established itself as a player in human resources and financial systems but has only been shipping manufacturing software for a few months.

"[PeopleSoft has] to get out there and get these kinds of clients to position themselves against SAP and Baan " Greenbaum said.

Hicks said PeopleSoft is in the initial stages of installing its software. The Mint plans to have virtually all of PeopleSoft's financial and order-processing software along with some of its manufacturing products installed by Oct. 1 1998. That deadline will satisfy the agency's objective for becoming Year 2000-compliant Mitchell said. The remainder of PeopleSoft's manufacturing software is slated for installation by Oct. 1 1999.

Mitchell said PeopleSoft was selected for the project because it was willing to take the lead on software implementation. "We don't have a track record of implementing an integrated system across the Mint " he said. He also cited PeopleSoft's customer service record as a factor in the company's selection.

In addition to the Mint a number of other government agencies signed licensing agreements with PeopleSoft in the first half of 1997. They include the Environmental Protection Agency the Federal Aviation Administration the National Security Agency the State Department and the Agriculture Department. PeopleSoft launched a business unit devoted to the federal government market in 1995.

PeopleSoft is expected to announce the pact Sept. 2 although the contract was awarded to the Pleasanton Calif. software company in July.

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