Agencies test PeopleSoft's CRM

In what it hopes is the beginning of an avalanche of business for a new product, PeopleSoft Inc. announced July 19 that the State Department and the Internal Revenue Service are testing its entirely Internet-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

In addition to its pure Internet architecture, PeopleSoft 8 CRM features seamless integration of enterprise data and business processes, said Craig Conway, president and chief executive officer of the company. That means agencies can include legacy systems as well as data from other vendors' products, said Conway, speaking at a PeopleSoft on Tour event in Washington, D.C.

The State Department has been given the new solution to test, and the IRS is evaluating it through its prime contract with Computer Sciences Corp., said Ron Sullivan, vice president and general manager of PeopleSoft's federal region.

"What we're seeing in government is a recognition of how CRM can operate and be a value to government," Sullivan said. "For CRM, and particularly an Internet-based CRM product, there's been a tremendous increase in interest, and we're seeing a lot of requests for proposals, requests for information and requests for demonstrations."

Sullivan said the government was initially hesitant to adopt CRM because most agencies are not involved in sales. But now agencies view it as a better way to interact with constituents.

"It's a facilitation application, not a product like financials or human resources," he said. PeopleSoft 8 CRM combines recently acquired Vantive Corp.'s CRM offerings, including data warehouse and analytic technologies, with PeopleSoft's enterprise resource planning. Its pure Internet architecture enables universal access from any Web-enabled device at any time. The universal access is driven through PeopleSoft's portal technology that gives users a personal entryway to the applications.

The product also includes embedded analytics. The business analytics include: support insight, profitability insight, marketing insight, sales activity insight and a customer scorecard. Those applications can be tailored to a government agency's needs, said Rick Bergquist, senior vice president and chief technology officer for the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company.

Conway said that the government makes up more than 20 percent of PeopleSoft's business, and the company set out two years ago to re-establish its "leadership position in the public sector," which he thinks it has done.

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