Looking back: HR technology in 2005 (Guest Commentary)

Corporate manoevres overshadow new products
By Ian Turnbull
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/17/2006

In 2005 the industry known as human resource management systems (HRMS) was defined as much by corporate mergers and manoeuvres as it was by any new or exciting technology. Most of what we saw was consolidation of earlier trends with very little new technology or functionality in products.

PeopleSoft, the acknowledged market leader in HRMS for many years, spent 2004 working hard to merge its operations with those of its new acquisition, JD Edwards. The plans had barely been announced when PeopleSoft itself was under attack by Oracle, which won control in a heated battle. Oracle has tried to ease the concerns of PeopleSoft owners by announcing PeopleSoft maintenance to 2011, followed by a new integrated product, but projecting a desired six-year-plus life cycle from 2005 is making users nervous.

Meanwhile PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield launched “Workday” in yet another effort to provide a leapfrog solution. The best way to outline his vision is to quote him: “Technology has dramatically changed since the introduction of current ERP systems and business models have changed. But today’s enterprise applications are constraining business and are no longer meeting the needs of their customers. They are too expensive to deploy and maintain, complicated and difficult to use, and were built for the back office, largely ignoring the informational needs of the line manager.”