PeopleSoft has started shipping version 8.5 of its Vantive acquisition's flagship customer relationship management (CRM) applications suite and has named Deutsche Bank as its first early adopter in Europe.
The Vantive suite has been completely rewritten in Java, which, according to PeopleSoft, means it is optimised for internet use. The applications vendor also said that it has enhanced the offering's performance by adding multi-threading capabilities and writing much of the logic in Java.
It is also talking up the product's ability to integrate with third-party offerings and is promising improved scalability, claiming that it is the first supplier to support 20,000 seats.
The launch marks a significant step forward for Vantive, which has always been regarded by analysts as a technical innovator. At a time when analysts are imploring vendors to put customers at centre stage, the upgrade will enable users to integrate their business applications with a focus on front-office requirements rather than back-office enterprise resource planning or supply chain planning needs.
Dave Tonnision, PeopleSoft's CRM product strategy manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: "This is the first scalable, high-performance platform for application development in the multi-channel environment."
He added that a Java virtual machine has been embedded into the Vantive server. "This will minimise integration, and business rules can remain intact regardless of the channel or application," he said.
Charles Grover, director of PeopleSoft's CRM business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, also said that customers would be able to develop new applications for the upgrade relatively quickly, because it included links to packages from Oracle and SAP and to middleware such as MQSeries, Tibco or Vitria.
"Having open availability to back-office applications means we can quickly develop promotions and provision for those. The point about the integration capability is that virtually any integration is possible in real time and bi-directionally," he said.
But he added that "PeopleSoft is not moving into the application integration market with Vantive 8.5", although it will recommend middleware where appropriate.
Vantive 8.5 will be a straightforward upgrade for existing Vantive 8 users because it uses existing business rules and procedures. Deutsche Bank, which has a prototyping contract, is said to require "thousands of seats".
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