PeopleSoft's Conway: 'Adopting Enterprise Technology for Everyone'

By Tom Steinert-Threlkeld  |  Posted 2004-05-19 Print this article Print

PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway talks up SMBs at the PeopleSoft Leadership Summit in Las Vegas.

Adopting the kind of software traditionally used by large enterprises is quickly becoming a requirement for small- and medium-sized companies, the chief executive officer of PeopleSoft said Tuesday.

"There used to be no imperative for (such businesses) to deploy enterprise software,'' PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway said in his keynote speech to a gathering of an estimated 2,500 customers, analysts and media at the PeopleSoft Leadership Summit in Las Vegas. Now, the web of Internet-based commerce and the advance of such technologies as radio frequency identification means that mid-sized companies "have become part of the ecoystem of business and this means they are tied to larger corporations" and the systems they use.

His main example: the ongoing push by Wal-Mart Stores for its suppliers to adopt the use of tags on packages and pallets of goods that can be read by radiowaves. Such tagging will make it possible for Wal-Mart to more accurately track the movement of goods and reduce inventory.

"Today it is more than an incentive, it is almost a requirement" that companies of all sizes adopt enterprise software, he said. PeopleSoft is not talking about small proprietorships, however. Its idea of the size of a midsized company is a firm that records as much as $1 billion of annual revenue.

PeopleSoft chief financial officer Kevin Parker said that more than 30 percent of new software licensing revenue for PeopleSoft comes from small- and medium-sized businesses. And smaller companies account for a majority of transactions, since each deal is smaller. The company said its goal is to derive 50 percent of software licensing revenue from companies $1 billion in size or smaller.

Tom was editor-in-chief of Interactive Week, from 1995 to 2000, leading a team that created the Internet industry's first newspaper and won numerous awards for the publication. He also has been an award-winning technology journalist for the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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