PeopleSoft names new CRM chief

The new GM of CRM comes from Tibco and says he learned a few things there that he'll bring to his new post.

PeopleSoft Inc. will not be getting into the software rental game and its customers can count on an improved ownership experience, the company's new group vice president and general manager of CRM said.

George Ahn was named the new CRM chief for the Pleasanton, Calif., company on Tuesday. He replaces Joe Davis, who left the position in March to take over as president and CEO of Coremetrics Inc., a BI software vendor in Burlingame, Calif.

We've talked to our customers, and they're telling us the feature function war is over.
George Ahn, PeopleSoft's new CRM chief,

Ahn joins PeopleSoft from Tibco Software Inc., the Palo Alto, Calif.-based integration software vendor where he was executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He takes over at a time when PeopleSoft is still fending off Oracle Corp.'s hostile takeover bid.

Ahn pledged that PeopleSoft would stick to two emerging trends in the industry: improving total cost of ownership experience and giving customers more than just CRM.

"We've talked to our customers, and they're telling us the feature function war is over," Ahn said. "What they're looking for is the full suite of applications."

PeopleSoft is prepared to meet that need with its offerings in areas like CRM, supply chain and financials, Ahn said. Unlike CRM market leader Siebel Systems Inc., in San Mateo, Calif., PeopleSoft offers back-office software in addition to customer-facing applications.

The importance of integrating multiple applications was a lesson that Ahn said he learned from customers of Tibco.

What users should not expect is PeopleSoft developing its own, purely hosted solution, as Siebel did with its CRM OnDemand offering, Ahn said. He said that hosted software ends up costing more in the long run.

"Over time you don't own anything," Ahn said.

Ahn said he will also be able to draw from his experience at Siebel, where he was once the general manager of its midmarket and sales force automation divisions. Prior to joining Siebel, Ahn was a sales and marketing executive with IBM.

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