PracticePeople In PracticePeopleSoft changes

PeopleSoft changes

Top departures fuel rumours of trouble with European strategy, says John Stokdyk

US enterprise software developer PeopleSoft will report its year-end results later this month as rumours grow that the company’s expansion strategy in Europe is going off the rails.

Speculation about the company has been fuelled by a series of executive departures in the past two months, but PeopleSoft’s UK-based European marketing director Mark Lane denied that the changes were evidence of any problems. ‘They are a reflection of the growth and opportunities within PeopleSoft in Europe,’ said Lane.

‘Some of the changes are part of the maturing process,’ he continued.

‘The people and skills you need in the early stage to get established aren’t necessarily the ones you need in a maturing business.’

The most significant recent change was the appointment of former Oracle man Adrian Reynolds as UK managing director in November.

In addition, PeopleSoft is gaining a new UK marketing manager, Nigel Woodhouse, a Briton who works with the company in the US but has expressed an interest in returning to the UK.

Sales director Alistair Bremner, however, left the company in November and has yet to be replaced. His role will be absorbed by three vertical teams as PeopleSoft reorganises its European operations to cater for financial services, manufacturing/distribution/retail and government clients.

‘The US is fully compartmentalised into nine vertical business units.

In Europe, we are moving towards that strategy, but are slightly behind in the process,’ said Lane.

As a US developer PeopleSoft has had to adjust to the multilingual and multi-currency demands of the European market. Lane accepted that some of the company’s prospective customers were waiting to see what the company could deliver on a European-wide basis before committing to its products.

He added that European payroll, treasury and expenses modules would be delivered in PeopleSoft 7.5, which is due to be launched at the end of March. Although unable to detail the company’s financial performance in advance of the annual results, Lane said PeopleSoft’s European revenues ‘have done what we wanted’.

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