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PeopleSoft Joins Knowledge Race

Additions to analytical tools suite let users extract and analyze data from CRM apps.

PeopleSoft Inc. is offering users of its customer-relationship-management applications a new way to extract data from operational CRM systems for analysis. At its user group conference in Atlanta last week, the vendor unveiled additions to its Enterprise Performance Management suite of analytical tools, including new customer modeling behavior software.

Suppliers of enterprise applications such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP are rushing to give their customers ways to unlock the knowledge that resides in the transactional data generated by CRM and enterprise-resource-planning systems. PeopleSoft's EPM suite competes with Oracle's business-intelligence tools, SAP's Business Information Warehouse, and analytical applications from vendors such as Business Objects, Hyperion, and Informatica.

PeopleSoft's Customer Behavior Modeling application lets users pull data from PeopleSoft's operational CRM applications in real time and use that information to segment, profile, and model customer populations--critical for generating lists for E-mail marketing campaigns, for example. The software also can score customers according to their likelihood of buying specific products.

PeopleSoft also added financial and human resource analytical applications to the EPM suite. The Workforce Planning app uses data from PeopleSoft's HR software to help managers evaluate a company's workforce skills and determine what skills must be acquired to match its business strategy. The Business Planning and Budgeting application lets managers do financial modeling and generate forecasts.

The analytical tools will "help PeopleSoft users better analyze and plan their operations," Current Analysis analyst Mike Schiff says. But it needs to raise the visibility of its data, warehousing, and analytic apps, he says, because they're not as well-known as competitors like SAP.

The EPM applications are available in the fourth quarter individually or as a suite, and will be priced by the size of the customer, ranging from $75,000 to $2 million.

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