PeopleSoft Considers 4 Agencies

The four finalists in PeopleSoft’s $30 million review are being asked to participate in a three-day conference that will focus on the tech firm’s corporate culture.

“They can learn everything there is to know about PeopleSoft,” said client representative Steve Swasey.

Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West, San Francisco, has had the account since April 1999 and is defending it. The other finalists are Arnold and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, both in San Francisco, and BBDO in New York, Swasey said.

Officially, attendance at the Atlanta meeting later this month is not mandatory, but those close to the review said it is unlikely any of the four would skip it.

A final decision is expected in September.

The collaborative software and service provider, based in Pleasanton, Calif., sent an RFP a few weeks ago to a select group of agencies, Swasey said. Briefings with the finalists are already taking place.

The catalyst for the review was Nanci Caldwell’s arrival at the client in May as chief marketing officer. Caldwell previously spent 19 years at Hewlett-Packard, most recently as vp of marketing for HP Services. Aside from the addition of Caldwell, Swasey stressed that the company has been evolving and is a much different firm than it was even two years ago.

The 14-year-old company recently released a new Internet-based enterprise application, PeopleSoft 8, and has had five consecutive record-breaking quarters financially, Swasey said. It employs more than 8,500 people worldwide and has annual revenues of over $2 billion. Its top competitors include J.D. Edwards, SAP, Oracle and Cisco.

“This is a passion brand whose deeply loyal customer base has been rewarded with an incredible turnaround story and superior technology since the launch of PeopleSoft 8 last year,” said Nigel Carr, man aging partner and general manager at KBP West. “It’s a critical time for PeopleSoft. They are quite rightly leaving no stone unturned, and neither are we.

“Their business is very complex and fast-moving. It requires exceptional stamina, and we love it,” Carr continued. “We’re extremely passionate about keeping PeopleSoft and are convinced this is a pitch that the incumbent agency can win.”

Carr added the agency’s travel plans include a trip to Atlanta later this month.