Peoplesoft stretches its resources

Peoplesoft is playing catch-up with larger rival SAP but with a product development strategy that may overstretch its resources.

The human resources specialist will announce partnerships to extend functionality of its software for specific industries soon.

But IDC programme director, Henry Morris, said Peoplesoft’s strategy risked overstretching its resources because it could try to cover too many industry sectors.

Ovum freelance analyst Dennis Keeling said vendors had been tempted to specialise in particular sectors. But he warned that industry-specific software for less lucrative sectors like government held dangers. “It leaves a lot of customers out in the cold,” he said.

Peoplesoft applications vice president Mark Nittler would only say that the company would concentrate on the non-manufacturing industries. “It’s not a well-served market,” he said.

Peoplesoft purchased US retail specialist Intrepid Systems last June, as part of its campaign to reach vertical markets outside manufacturing.

Morris said industry-specific software’s greatest strength was in data analysis, where requirements vary from industry to industry.

Software houses specialising in data storage have begun to build industry-specific products. However, Peoplesoft lags rival SAP by two years – SAP launched sector specific software in 1996.

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