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PeopleSoft offers free CRM services

A new program has a PeopleSoft engineer paying on-site visits to customers early in their CRM deployment process.

SAN FRANCISCO -- PeopleSoft Inc.'s annual user show is mostly quiet on the CRM product front, but the company is introducing a program to help new customers maximize their investments.

The initiative, called the Customer Success program, devotes a team of product managers and engineers to a CRM installation early in the installation cycle. PeopleSoft is offering the extra help for free.

The team will conduct on-site visits to help companies tweak their CRM projects to generate greater returns.

A PeopleSoft director of research and development formed the Customer Success program and selected engineers and product managers to serve on it.

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"The guys who wrote the product know it the best," said Steve Roop, PeopleSoft vice president of CRM marketing. "To have that level of expertise reviewing your project plans, there's no match for that."

The team's work, however, isn't nearly as extensive as an engagement with a systems integrator, such as PeopleSoft Global Services, Roop said.

While PeopleSoft made the program public here, it's actually been up and running for about a month. Already, Spanish Internet service provider has used the free services to "back port" some features in PeopleSoft CRM 8.9 into its 8.8 deployment.

Roop said PeopleSoft is hoping that the Customer Success program leads to more satisfied customers that can be referenced, as well as more live CRM seats.

PeopleSoft isn't the first CRM vendor to offer free services. Siebel Systems Inc., in San Mateo, Calif., has a CRM Strategy Team that works with the company's larger customers, advising them on integration and implementation issues before and after a Siebel application is launched.

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