HR Systems Market Heats Up

SAP AG, the worldwide leader in enterprise resource planning software, continues to butt heads with the competition, most notably PeopleSoft Inc.

SAP earlier this month uncorked its latest shot over PeopleSoft's bow by announcing alliances with some of the top payroll service providers, including ADP and Ceridian. The idea is to let companies connect payroll, tax filing, check printing, and distribution services with their SAP human resources system.

"By forging relationships with companies such as ADP, Ceridian, and ProBusiness . . . SAP continues to provide customers with a complete and robust solution with the flexibility and tools to manage their company's payroll effectively," says Mike Gioja, executive vice president of the HR unit at SAP in Walldorf, Germany.

HR, of course, is PeopleSoft's forte. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based software firm started out HR applications, later offering financial management, distribution, and finally, manufacturing systems. According to figures from International Data Corp., a Framingham, Mass. research firm, PeopleSoft has already overtaken Oracle Corp. in the applications market, and Dave Duffield, PeopleSoft CEO, has set his sights on catching SAP.

Not to be left out, J.D. Edwards & Co., also one of the top ERP firms, on May 19 began offering HR software as part of its OneWorld family of applications. The Denver-based software company is developing self-service HR capabilities using the Internet, so that employees can update certain personnel information on their own. Finally, JD Edwards has struck alliances with a number of firms that offer specific HR applications, such as recruitment, training, succession, career planning, and labor management. These include Criterion Inc., Personic Human Resources, CareerBuilder Inc., Kronos Inc., and Data Systems Int'l.

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