PeopleSoft weeds out consultants for quality

PeopleSoft weeds out consultants for quality

PeopleSoft has dropped nearly 70 per cent of the consulting companies on its preferred-partner list in a campaign to boost the quality of services delivered around its upcoming PeopleSoft8 product, company officials said. The US-based vendor is also doubling the number of its internal consultants and is planning to institute a stringent certification process later this year.

The moves should dramatically increase PeopleSoft's direct consulting role around PeopleSoft8 while paring its third-party consultant base to a handful of top-tier, better-qualified service providers, said vice president Jeffrey Read.

By year's end, PeopleSoft hopes to double the number of customer installs it handles directly, from 10 to 20 per cent of all new business, Read said.

"It's an excellent move to have a certification program," said Rod Ely, systems architect at Green Mountain Coffee. "Otherwise, it becomes very hard to know who is really qualified."

PeopleSoft's growing direct involvement is also a good thing for users, said John Martines, a member of PeopleSoft's International Customer Advisory Panel of users.

"I know that when I am working with their consultants that they have [PeopleSoft's] developers and senior managers and customer service standing behind them," Martines said.

So far, PeopleSoft has spent about $25 million retraining its consultants in the new technology, which will be the first enterprise resource planning (ERP) package that's completely Web-enabled, Read said.

In the past year, the company has been working to focus its certification efforts on only those partners it knows have the infrastructure and skills required to deliver PeopleSoft8 services, Read said.

As a result, only 34 of 96 firms remain on its list, he said. PeopleSoft's initiatives reflect the growing bid by ERP vendors to address quality woes stemming from out-of-control consultant programs, said David Caruso, president of AMR Research in Boston. "They signed up with literally hundreds of [outside consultants] just to fill out the body count," he said.

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