We will Do Away with Middleware: PeopleSoft

With an investment of
approximately $30-40 million over the next two years, the center would initially
employ 300 people by this year-end. Excerpts of a conversation with Sathya
of Cyber News Service: 

Ram Gupta

l What
does "beginning of the end of middleware" imply?

This is one of the biggest goals of PeopleSoft. We are looking to do away with a
major chunk of middleware connecting applications from different vendors.
Application companies like us act like we are still in the Cold War era.
PeopleSoft aims at changing this scenario by establishing a close link with the
competition and creating not only software standards but also consolidating
existing enterprise applications. This thought becomes comprehensive when one
understands that cut-throat competition has already ensured very few players out
there who produce standard software that holds credibility among customers. It
is with such corporate that PeopleSoft will form bonds and consequently decrease
the role played by middleware to a huge extent.

On the TOE initiative…

There are three main components to TOE, all of which look at making the entire
process of software installation, configuration and integration a less
cumbersome and more affordable prospect. The first one looks at decreasing the
implementation time for any software package. The second one is about
maintaining the ERP applications. The third component would be Relevant
Navigation, an assurance of increased usability, wherein when information is
sought from one application, the software is intelligent and integrated enough
to derive pertinent data from other applications too. It’s a matter of
evolution, of becoming better and consequently improving the customer’s
experience with the software.

l Tell
us about AppConnect…

Today’s customer is interested in two things — cutting cost and getting
better RoI. However, most customers do not get all of their software needs from
one vendor alone. By joining forces with one another and making applications
that can integrate with one another, we are just ensuring that the customer can
choose the best in each segment without worrying about spending on integrating
or changing the entire process chain. AppConnect will help achieve that

l Can
initiatives like AppConnect replace middleware in the long run?

TOE has been launched because we believe that the future will be driven not by
additional features but by smarter applications that work with each other
better. PeopleSoft has enough faith in the concept to invest millions of dollars
in its development.

This is not the first time people are scoffing at our
ideas. So don’t take the cynics too seriously.

l What
work will the development center in Bangalore offer?

The center will offer remote configuration capabilities while driving down the
cost and time required for implementations and upgrades. As a result, customers
can implement PeopleSoft software faster and at a reduced cost. The facility is
being set up in partnership with Hexaware and will be operational from June

l Whyhave
you chosen a partner , when most MNCs are setting up individual development

People in the past have come to India and badly burnt their fingers trying to
set up a center here. Hexaware fits in right there — they have the local
knowledge and expertise. We’ll give them the specs and they will do the job-
from hiring people to setting up the office.

Sathya Mitra

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