SuccessFactors makes play for Oracle's PeopleSoft HR customers

SuccessFactors will launch its Employee Central 2.0 human resources offering, which aims to poach PeopleSoft customers pondering upgrades to Oracle Fusion.

SuccessFactors on Wednesday unveiled its Employee Central 2.0 human resources offering, which aims to poach PeopleSoft customers pondering upgrades to Oracle Fusion.

The company also announced plans to launch SuccessFactors Learning, the combination of recent acquisitions Jambok and Plateau Systems. The Plateau purchase is expected to close in the summer.

Put the two efforts together and it's obvious what SuccessFactors is going for: Human resources executives pondering what to do with PeopleSoft HR software. Brad Mattick, head of worldwide marketing for SuccessFactors, acknowledged that PeopleSoft is still the leading HR software.

However, SuccessFactors is looking to take Employee Central 2.0, a suite of human capital tools, layer in a "refreshed user experience," analytics and a cloud model to make itself an entrenched enterprise player.

But let's get real here: Targeting Oracle's customer base as it ponders a migration to Fusion isn't exactly an original idea.  SAP CEO Bill McDermott has noted that Oracle's Fusion upgrade is a nice opportunity for Larry Ellison's customer base to evaluate other vendors. Workday also aims to poach Oracle customers. SuccessFactors is thinking the same thing along with other on-demand software vendors.

Mattick's money slide boiled down to PeopleSoft's retro user interface.

The pitch from SuccessFactors is that its user interface is more intuitive and will appeal for the 47 percent of workers born after 1977 in the workforce by 2013.

Here's a look at what Employee Central 2.0 will provide:

What's unclear is whether SuccessFactors can become the HR system or record or have to settled for a so-called "two-tier" approach. Two-tier deployments refer to cloud vendors being layered on top of existing on-premise applications from the likes of SAP and Oracle.

Mattick said "many companies have various states of legacy technology." "Some would be ready to move to Employee Central and others would later it on top of a significant legacy implementation that has a lot of touch points and processes running through it," he said.

Pricing for Employee Central wasn't revealed. The company said it has "dozens" of customers using Employee Central now. Customers include Shawcor, Village of Schaumburg and Amway.

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