LAS VEGAS – In the world of the “”real-time”” enterprise, productivity goes up, but so does the expectation of users and customers.

That means companies have to be prepared to meet those demands in an “”always on”” economy, PeopleSoft

CEO Craig Conway told senior level executives attending the company’s Leadership Summit here this week as users met to hear the benefits of Internet-based enterprise systems.

“”Companies will have legacy systems with other vendors as well as internally-developed applications and they have to be online and within a portal framework,”” said Conway in his keynote.

And as a user becomes accustomed to an application, it must always be available or the provider risks losing the customer. That includes employees empowered by self-services HR functions, he said.

“”When an ATM is down, that can mean the customer might make the decision to switch banks,”” said Conway. “”The same phenomenon will occur in business when processes are real-time. Customers have different expectations when the process is real-time.””

During the two-day conference, users outlined how PeopleSoft 8 assisted their companies in reducing costs and reaching customers and employees efficiently and quickly.

Customers like telco giant Verizon Wireless provided hard evidence of the demands placed on a company forced to perform in a world of constant mergers and acquisitions. The largest wireless company in the U.S., Verizon was formed two years ago from 10 different entities.

“”As we acquire new companies we need to integrate quickly,”” said John Hinshaw, vice-president of information technology, Verizon Wireless, speaking as part of a customer panel called Taking Business Performance to the Next Level.

Beyond its need for easy integration, Hinshaw said Verizon was also looking to cut costs. With 30 million customers and 40,000 employees, the company wanted to trim their administrative bottom line. Using the HR management component of PeopleSoft,Verizon has begun issuing online pay stubs to its employees, thereby reducing the number of statements mailed out to employees from one million annually to 1,000 by the end of the year. As well, the company implemented online training for new products for its 32,000 customer service and sales reps. It has amounted to more than 30 per cent in reduced administrative costs.

Conway and senior executives also revealed Monday four new industry verticals for its CRM products including government, energy, insurance and high-tech, in addition to earlier first quarter announcements for the financial and telecommunications sectors.

Energy distributors and retailers will be able to track and resolve power outages, provide online payment of accounts and customer analysis. For government users, the application will provide the ability to assign citizen inquiries to the right department, show the location of reported problems and reduce administrative costs by providing self-service options.

As well, a third generation of HR management was released with three components, including a sales incentive component, performance management and enterprise learning management. Conway said the application will be available in the second half of this year.

For Western Canada retailer London Drugs, the added HR functions will be used to determine whether employees are best serving the goals of the company, said Clint Mahlman, vice-president of human resources and distribution for the Richmond B.C.-based company.

“”It’s something we’ve been enthusiastically pushing,”” said Mahlman. “”For us, it’s all about the customer. The only reason for people to come in our stores is the trust and respect we’ve gained. We have to be able to communicate to our employees how they’ve done with respect to the company goals. You can’t talk about being a customer-focused organization unless you have pay for performance.””

With 56 stores in British Columbia and Alberta, London Drugs employees 6,500 people and is preparing to expand into Saskatchewan this summer.

“”If (an employee) doesn’t reach a goal we can determine how we can coach them to go in the right direction,”” Mahlman said.


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