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PeopleSoft targets CRM customers with new HR tool

PeopleSoft is coming out with new human resources automation software that it says is a perfect fit for its CRM installed base.

Enterprise software vendor PeopleSoft Inc. is marketing its new PeopleSoft HelpDesk for Human Resources package to its existing CRM customers.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based vendor is betting the success of the new application on its belief that large enterprise customers are looking for more powerful software to automate internal processes, including human resources. PeopleSoft is adding the HR help desk tool to its human capital management family, which others call employee resources management (ERM).

"We're not just talking about employees here, though," said Brad Wilson, PeopleSoft's vice president of CRM marketing. "This is an application that also allows an HR department to more easily manage interactions with contractors and even retirees."

Wilson said that top-level HR executives are often highly sought after, well paid and overburdened. The HR help desk application automates many basic processes such as employee program enrollment, information distribution and health care customization. More important, PeopleSoft feels the tool will up the productivity of HR staffers while lowering administrative costs.

"We're hearing a lot about customer self-service these days," Wilson said. "This is a move toward building employee self-service."

Wilson said the HR software sits alongside an emerging set of applications that exist at the boundary where CRM merges with other enterprise business functions.

Some industry analysts feel the human capital angle could work out well for PeopleSoft. Jim Holincheck, research director of human resource management at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, said the vendor is focusing on a relatively new arena that may resonate with existing customers and other large companies.

"While it will take time for the functionality to get where it needs to be, there's not a lot of activity in this particular space yet," Holincheck said. "It's not unlike the CRM market a few years back where companies have had their own internal applications to address HR, but working with a vendor may become preferable."

The analyst said he has been expecting this area of the CRM market to emerge more rapidly than it has and that there should be room for growth.

PeopleSoft HelpDesk for Human Resources is expected to be available in Q1 2003 as part of the PeopleSoft Human Capital Management 8.8 package. Company officials said that pricing for the software would be based on the size of the customer and the scope of the deployment.

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