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December 6, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Personnel software firm PeopleSoft Inc has set up a UK sales and support office in Windsor, Berkshire, which it reckons will bring in revenues of between UKP3m and UKP5m within a year, all from new licences. It also forecasts staff levels will increase from six now to at least 25 this time next year. But within two years, the Walnut Creek, California-based firm believes the new operation will generate about 20% of its total turnover and show 100% growth year-on-year, soon becoming the largest subsidiary outside of the US. An optimistic prediction perhaps, but PeopleSoft is convinced it is the only vendor in its sector that offers true client-server applications, while other people are scrambling to re-write their software. Its biggest competitors are SAP AG, which, it reckons, will take five years to get R/3 out of the door; Dun & Bradstreet Software Inc, which may have the might of a strong US parent behind it, but also had trouble getting a client-server version of SmartStream to market; and Oracle Corp, which it attests has applications built on yesterday’s technology – Oracle Personnel has sold about 10 copies worldwide, it says, while SequelForms is character-based, and does not have a graphical user interface. All of PeopleSoft’s products are Windows client-based, but it generates about 30% of its revenues from mainframes, the rest from mid-range severs, of which between 80% and 90% are Unix-based. The firm also has a Microsoft Corp Windows NT version of its software in beta testing and is planning a version for the PowerPC, running DB2/2 and DB2/6000. But PeopleSoft reckons it has a further advantage over the competition in partnering such consultants as Andersen Consulting and Coopers & Lybrand. These companies promote its offerings, help it evaluate customers needs and then help it implement a suitable system. The group is currently developing a commitment accounting package for local governments as an extension to its Financials offering with Andersen, and the two will jointly market and sell it next summer. But this is not PeopleSoft’s first venture into Europe. It set up European headquarters in Amsterdam about two years ago to support such multinationals as the above, and also established a Paris office a few months ago. It intends to open another in Switzerland over the next three months, and has distributors in Germany and Spain. It also hopes to sign one in Scandinavia any day, and intends to sell into former Eastern bloc countries by partnering with Oracle distributors. PeopleSoft localises all of its software at its regional offices – UK-specific packages should be available in the next week or so, it says.

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