Oracle has come good on its promise to update the product line of PeopleSoft, the former rival it acquired in 2004.

The first product in the new PeopleSoft Enterprise Release 9 suite is for enterprise learning and Oracle promises further enhancements in areas such as CRM, corporate governance and enterprise performance management.

Oracle had to backtrack on its original plan to force PeopleSoft users to migrate to its new Fusion suite after seeing them being wooed by rival vendors.

Tagging improved

RFID (radio frequency identification) is here to stay, according to Microsoft, and the next release of its BizTalk Server software will support the electronic tagging technology. The BizTalk Server 2006 R2 has improved supply chain capabilities designed to improve links between a business and its external supply chains. As well as RFID and XML-based business processes, the new release supports legacy EDI-based trading networks, still widely used.

Compliance help

Avaska is the latest start-up working in the compliance field. Many regulations require businesses to know who has access to what and who did what and when. Those that do not, face regulatory repercussions and run business risks, argues Avaska. Its Compliance Manager software helps businesses automate the labour-intensive tasks associated with controlling and monitoring IT users, without them having to re-invent the compliance wheel each time a new regulation is introduced.

Help to sell wants to help businesses create a single sales force straddling direct and indirect channels. Partnerforce, its new partnership relationship management service, allows businesses to share information not just from their own direct salespeople but from partners as well.

One of the problems with PRM to date is that indirect sales channels fear the vendor’s direct sales force will steal their leads. argues that the problem can be minimised by using PRM to generate sales leads for partners as well as direct sales teams.

Saas for sales

Netsuite, a rival to in hosted software, hopes to popularise the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model through a deal with CompUSA, the US chain of computer stores.

The initiative is aimed at smaller companies that feel more comfortable talking to a salesperson rather than viewing’s SaaS offerings online. CompUSA’s in-store business centres will provide a single point of contact for Netsuite’s products, plus training and implementation services.

Linking made easy

Middleware has long been a bastion of proprietary technologies but now an open-source technology, called Advanced Message Queueing Protocol (AMQP), promises to reduce the cost of linking applications together. One of the biggest beneficiaries is likely to be the financial services industry and much of the impetus for the fledgling standard has come from banks tired of paying licence fees to proprietary middleware vendors such as IBM and Tibco. JPMorgan Chase is already using AMQP for a real-world trading system.

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