Oracle rolls out updated PeopleSoft apps

Von Marc L.

Looking to make good on promises to the installed base it inherited when it bought PeopleSoft Inc., Oracle Corp. is rolling out the latest iteration of PeopleSoft"s supply chain management and financials applications.

Oracle Wednesday announced that it is shipping Version 8.9 of PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management suite, as well as the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) applications. Oracle had promised to continue to develop the various suites and not force a migration to its own E-Business Suite 11i.

Version 8.8 of PeopleSoft Enterprise shipped 20 months ago, when PeopleSoft was still an independent vendor and had already begun work on Version 8.9, said Rich Rodgers, vice president of financial applications strategy at Oracle. With Wednesday"s announcement, Oracle has shown its commitment to the PeopleSoft suite, he said.

"I think this is a testament to Oracle"s commitment to invest in PeopleSoft products," he said. "This release of SCM and Financial Management is unchanged in scope."

The rollout also serves another purpose: offering a gateway for customers to eventually migrate to the Project Fusion best-of-breed suite of applications Oracle is developing.

Financials Management Release 8.9 offers greater support for compliance with global accounting standards and best practices, said Rodgers. For instance, Oracle has automated cash flow statement processes to help comply with both international and U.S. regulations. There is also a new Financial Gateway tool, which centralizes and streamlines payments and receipts processes.

Oracle has also added an Enterprise Asset Lifecycle Management application to help companies acquire, maintain and replace physical assets as cost effectively as possible. Those assets could include facilities infrastructure, equipment and real estate. The new functions are enabled by some of the assets obtained from the J.D. Edwards & Co. portfolio of applications that came with the PeopleSoft buy, said Rodgers. Asset Lifecycle Management can also integrate financial and supply chain data into a single view to help boost planning and operational efficiency and return on asset investments.

Oracle said it has also added 100 enhancements to its Version 8.9 SRM and SCM applications, including a supplier contract management module, said John Webb, vice president of supply chain application product strategy. That tool, part of the SRM suite, allows companies to craft and then enforce supplier contracts more efficiently. It permits negotiation of supplier terms, the execution of the contract and the tracking of supplier performance. The contract module also offers native integration with Microsoft Word, he said.

The PeopleSoft Enterprise 8.9 applications are shipping now.