Tuesday, May 25, 2004

PeopleSoft breathes new life into JDE World product

PeopleSoft has finally got a strategy for the old World product that it picked up with its acquisition of J.D. Edwards last year.

But first, some history. The World product was JDE's IBM iSeries (formerly AS/400) host-based product. Think of it as JDE Classic. Over a period of several years, JDE had been de-emphasizing World and was encouraging World users to migrate to its newer One World product, which is based on a cross-platform, network architecture. During the acquisition of JDE by PeopleSoft, PeopleSoft renamed these products PeopleSoft World and PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne, with PeopleSoft's own suite of products renamed PeopleSoft Enterprise.

In rationalizing its portfolio of products, PeopleSoft positioned the Enterprise Suite for large organizations, and indicated that EnterpriseOne would be best for mid-market companies. And World products would be targeted at, well, existing World users. Not a very strong story for the World products.

But now, PeopleSoft finally has found a role for World. At the Common user group earlier this month, PeopleSoft announced a bundled deal called "World Express," targeted specifically for companies between $20-100M. According to the press release, World Express includes:
  • World applications pre-installed on an iSeries box, including financials, distribution, manufacturing, HR, and project management, which should save users installation time.

  • Pre-configured business processes such as vendor returns, product costing, new product introduction, purchasing, and A/R, which should simplify some of the implementation effort.

  • Implementation and user training services by PeopleSoft-certified distributors.

  • Ongoing support.
The press release doesn't say so, but I'm told there is also a Web front end deployed in World Express, which would give users a GUI if they want it.

PeopleSoft is offering World Express through an expanded reseller channel that includes the extensive IBM reseller channel. (IBM and PeopleSoft also appear to be working on a similar arrangement for EnterpriseOne on Linux, but that's another topic).

To be honest, I like this story. In spite of JDE's past lack of focus on World, users simply refused to let the green screen version die. In addition, there are a large number of iSeries shops out there, especially small companies, that have a shrinking number of good iSeries packages to choose from. They like the reliability of the iSeries and many of them don't see any driving need to make their IT infrastructure more complex. They would like GUI for certain applications and like interoperability with Microsoft office. The World Express product is a good solution for such companies.

If IBM and other resellers can execute under this program, I think PeopleSoft may be pleasantly surprised at how well this new offering is received.

Related posts
Green screen refuses to die
PeopleSoft/JDE combination: off to a strong start

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