PeopleSoft chief gives 10 steps to collaboration

In his keynote speech at the PeopleSoft Connect in Atlanta in August, company president and CEO Craig Conway offered attendees his top ten keys to building a collaborative enterprise:

1. Standardize business processes. “Organizations need to be standardized across regions, across countries and across offices,” Conway said. “If those processes are different that is usually because of people or history.”

2. Obtain a pure Internet architecture. “If you’re going to reach out and you have code residing on a client, you’ll never get there. If you’re asking people to get information off your clients, you’ll never get there.”

3. Minimize customization. “Some customization is good, but when you extensively customize an out-of-the-box, it becomes customized software and that is hard to work with,” Conway said.

4. Accommodate multiple databases. “I’m amazed when companies buy software that only works with one database,” Conway said. “What happens if you acquire a company that is running a different database? Do you have to shut down? Do you have to wait to integrate all the data?” he asked.

5. Hold vendors responsible

6. Use highly scalable applications. “At one time we only had to support a limited number of users. Today you need an enterprise software that can support all those who need access to your information,” he said. Conway broke that number down, showing it can quickly become hundreds of thousands of people accessing your information.

7. Run a multi-lingual, multi-currency businesses. “Every company today operates on an international scale, so your system software has to be multi-lingual and multi-currency,” he said.

8. Ensure interoperability between users. “You cannot build a collaborative enterprise from one vendor. You need interoperability with internal information.”

9. Take advantage of embedded business analytics. “Analysis allows you to understand data and business. Your business participants need analytics made available to them,” Conway said.

10. Use fewer vendors with broader products. “When businesses put themselves online they cannot afford to have the system go down,” he said, adding that is especially important if there are a hundred different pieces with support in a hundred different places. “People are already choosing vendors with broader product lines.”