PeopleSoft aims at public service

In its rollout of customer relationship management solutions, PeopleSoft

Inc. last month announced a product, PeopleSoft CRM for Government, it hopes

will match government's push to be more accessible to the public with around-the-clock

help desks and one-stop online access to services.

"The emphasis in the past has been on, say, providing a single 20-person

help desk for an agency," said Bill Diamond, a CRM industry consultant in

PeopleSoft's education and government solutions division. "Now there's a

need to scale that across an enterprise and for companies like PeopleSoft

to provide those secure, enterprise-scale solutions. It's something that's

very important to government now."

Government's rush to get something online often pushes aside any consideration

of customer relationships, according to Carol Kelly, vice president and

director of electronic government strategies for the META Group Inc. Now

there's a real need to integrate CRM applications into government solutions,

she said.

When CRM for Government becomes available this summer, one standard

integration will be for ESRI's popular geographic information system mapping

products, which will enable CRM users to graphically display location-based

situations and events.

Some examples of what federal, state and local governments will be capable

of doing with CRM for Government include:

* Managing nonemergency "311" communications between government organizations

and their constituents.

* Automatically assigning constituent inquiries to the appropriate government

department.

* Graphically displaying the location of reported problems and the activities

of work groups sent to resolve them.

* Reducing administrative costs through self-service access to online

support.

PeopleSoft believes it has an advantage over its competitors, which

offer basic CRM solutions and then add features for specific markets, said

Robb Eklund, PeopleSoft's vice president for CRM marketing. PeopleSoft has

just one basic CRM product, in which the features intended for specific

markets are embedded. A government user could license CRM for Government,

and the government market features in the basic product would then be opened

to that user.

CRM for Government works with agency legacy applications and also contains

a standard integration feature that enables a plug-and-play fit with other

vendors' products.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be

reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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