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December 7, 2016

I have been involved with the Oracle PeopleSoft space since 2005 and have some great partnerships within the community. This past week on December 6th and 7th, I attended the PeopleSoft Partner Summit in Pleasanton, California and was able to gather some significant takeaways that can help the PeopleSoft community far and wide. As a contributing citizen of the PeopleSoft community that desires to help everyone understand how to prepare for the future of PeopleSoft, here we go!

PeopleSoft has 5,000 users in their install base with 66% of those users based in North America. That shows a market size of around 3,000 users in the PeopleSoft community and attrition/acquisition of customers is stable. The users in the PeopleSoft community are comprised of 6 primary industries, however, PeopleSoft is not being built to be an industry solution like other Oracle ERPs. PeopleSoft is industry agnostic and investing the development efforts into building solutions that modernize, simplify, and position PeopleSoft as a long term solution across industry verticals.

Image Credit: Oracle PeopleSoft

PeopleSoft has built a strategy to get existing customers to version 9.2. Version 9.2 is written with single code lines, making it easy to install updates, patches, and changes to the core system built into the core technology. Once customers reach 9.2, there will be no new version release moving forward. However, there will be opportunities for adopting PUM images, changes, and industry specific updates that will be constantly in development and released by Oracle to the user community. This is a HUGE advantage for PeopleSoft users to invest in 9.2 and build a long term strategy to enhance the investment in PeopleSoft on an a la carte basis, taking advantage of the most important updates. PeopleSoft 9.2 has extended support through 2027!

Currently, 62% of the PeopleSoft community is on Version 9.2, with 25% on 9.1 and 9% on 9.0. Version 9.1 extended support ends January 2018, which puts the pressure on 9.1 customers to perform their application upgrades in 2017. 2017 will see the majority of 9.1 users and a few 9.0 users to upgrade to 9.2. Considering this significant portion of users on 9.2 today or moving to 9.2 in the near term, we will focus on what the NEW PeopleSoft in version 9.2 looks like.

Fluid user interface Fluid is very simple. The traditional way of how PeopleSoft is displayed is via text-lines-categories and this user interface is called Classic. This is being changed to Fluid user interface. Fluid is simply changing location, shapes, color, and responsiveness of the technology to make it intuitive and modern.

Oracle is so confident in Fluid being the future of the technology, they are “forcing” the transition from Classic to Fluid as they release new Fluid functionality in each area. Quest user group’s survey states 72% of PeopleSoft customers are not using Fluid technology today. Surprisingly, Fluid is still a new concept and there is a lack of education regarding what Fluid can actually deliver to an organization.

PeopleSoft is making Fluid integration easy with features such as elastic search. These are built off core PeopleSoft concepts helping facilitate business process improvement, analytics, and an improved experience for business users of PeopleSoft.

Selective Adoption The concept of Selective Adoption is also very simple. Traditional ERP delivers new releases and forces a customer to upgrade all of their system, including retro-fitting customizations, adopting new features, and duplicating existing technology into new version. Selective adoptions eliminate this need to upgrade, like a cloud SAAS solution. It enables you to pick what image that you want and not implement certain images that you don’t want. Think of it like a menu where you don’t have to buy an appetizer, entrée, beverage and dessert. You can pick one or all of them, your choice. If a company doesn’t want to deal with selecting certain items, they can implement every one.

A key advantage of selective adoption is that you get to pick when you want to do the project. You aren’t required to upgrade due to the pressure of extended support ending. You aren’t forced to do automatic updates, like a cloud SAAS solution. You aren’t forced to retro-fit customizations. To build a successful selective adoption strategy, you are supported by technologies like PUM (PeopleSoft Update Manager), PTF (PeopleSoft Test Framework), and CFO tool (Cumulative Feature Overview) as delivered technology. PeopleSoft is committed to delivering enhancements and investing in development for new features and patches for items like ACA (Affordable Care Act), requirements in healthcare and higher education, or other critical business areas like Data Export Import Utility (DEIU).

Data Export Import Utility (DEIU) DEIU is a new feature in PeopleSoft that most people aren’t aware of. There is a huge opportunity for customers to use the technology for mergers/acquisitions, business units, or 3rd party system integration with PeopleSoft. These are common business challenges that new PeopleSoft technology is designed to solve.

Overview of DEIU
* Data mapping and transformational utility
* Export PeopleSoft for subsequent use in third party systems
* Import external data from third party systems
* Transform data during export/import to meet 3rd party data requirements
* Not designed to move data between two PeopleSoft systems
* Based on PeopleSoft PeopleTools Document technology

Should you stay on PeopleSoft or move to a cloud SAAS solution?
This is a question that comes up from the PeopleSoft user community. Each customer is different and needs to make an assessment if a cloud solution makes sense for their environment. Here are a few questions for clients to ask themselves on whether to stay on PeopleSoft or consider moving to a cloud solution.

1) What is your internal knowledge of current support team and business community and ability to deliver a PeopleSoft solution vs. training and building a new support model?
2) What is the licensing, and total cost associated with PeopleSoft vs. the project and maintenance costs of a Cloud solution?
3) Do you prefer a PeopleSoft selective adoption strategy enabling a client to pick and choose change and timing vs. a Cloud SAAS solution that offers automatic updates at arranged times?
4) Does Fluid UI offer the modern, intuitive look and feel or do you prefer a Cloud SAAS solution?
5) Does PeopleSoft provide the best industry solution and updates vs. a cloud SAAS solution?

PeopleSoft has forever changed and is a solution that is built for existing users of PeopleSoft to continue using the application way into the future. It is modern and simple, with the support of Oracle to deliver new functionality as the environment changes, while possessing the agility for a customer to make it easily to fit their business needs. It is up you how you want to capitalize on the PeopleSoft of the future!

Blog Written by:


Patrick Donlin
Heartland’s CEO and President of Sales