PwC launches Arabised HR applications

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has officially launched its Arabised version of the PeopleSoft’s HR applications. The company has exclusively developed the PeopleSoft HR Arabia for the Middle East, where it believes a boom in HR solution deployment is set to begin.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  March 29, 2001

PwC launches Arabised version of PeopleSoft's HR applications.|~||~||~|PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has officially launched its Arabised version of the PeopleSoft’s HR applications. The company has exclusively developed the PeopleSoft HR Arabia for the Middle East, where it believes a boom in HR solution deployment is set to begin. A recent PwC HR benchmarking report of companies in the Middle East and Europe suggested that 85% of companies in the region would be looking to deploy an HR solution in 2001.

Stephen Dando, director of management consulting services for PwC said that the region now has the mindset to invest in more complicated systems. “If you look back [a few years], the focus of many organisations was to put in financial systems,” he said. “If you look at those organisations today, there is a recognition that to be competitive, to grow, to conduct the strategy that they want, that they have got to have the people.”

The expanded functionality of PeopleSoft HR Arabia, which is based on version 8.0 of PeopleSoft is intended to allow companies to operate a global, web-based HR solution from a single Unicode back-end database. The easy-to-use web interface allows companies using PeopleSoft to devolve a lot of HR functions to the employee, without having to involve dedicated HR staff. Denis Boulanger, director of alliance and sales development for PeopleSoft said that a recent survey showed up to a 75% reduction in HR enquiries and 60% reduction in costs through deployment of the package.

The most attractive aspect of PeopleSoft, and one of the prime reasons that PwC developed the Arabised package, is its suitability to international companies. Through using a simple HTML shell, as is the case with HR Arabia, PeopleSoft is capable of handling data in different languages, different currencies and in different data structures. This makes the package particularly attractive to two types of companies operating in the region, according to Mary-Sue Rogers, PwC PeopleSoft practice leader EMEA. “There are a number of big multinational clients that use PeopleSoft that are in the region, such as Compaq, Hewlett Packard and ABN Amro; and a lot of the organisations [that] want to be able to show a footprint outside of the region. As they start to be more global, there is a desire to manage their human capital in a way that becomes more difficult to do as an organisation gets bigger.”

The HR Arabia package also has localised features to allow users to better track expat staff, career development and deployment of nationals in their workforce.

There are concerns over PwC’s ability to support the package however. Iftikhar Nadeem, senior e-business and ERP analyst at KFUPM’s Centre for Economic & Management Systems, believes that PeopleSoft’s late arrival and the presence of significant competition could hamper uptake. “PeopleSoft has missed the wave in the region. Look at Oracle’s success in the application business,” he said. “They are one of the few big ERP vendors in the region that has got a large regional office… their applications are everywhere and they have the people to support those applications.”

On the uptake front PwC believes that the existing base of PeopleSoft customers outside of the region speaks for itself, with seven out of the top ten Fortune 500 companies and the leading consultancies including Accenture and KPMG using it. On the support front, PwC will expand in the region as necessary to support the product. “The support for the product in the region will be provided from Abu Dhabi,” said Dando. “We are going to start off small, and it will grow at the appropriate time,” he adds.
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