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3 Strategic Flavors for PeopleSoft HCM: Which One Are You?

PeopleSoft RECONNECT Envision

At RECONNECT Envision 21, SmartERP Solutions’ CEO, Doris Wong, and Vice President of Client Success and Business Operations, Lynn Duffy, presented a look at three strategic flavors for PeopleSoft HCM (Human Capital Management) and how users can maximize their investment. The pair also dove into a hybrid cloud strategy and the Oracle Cloud HCM journey.

About SmartERP Solutions

SmartERP Solutions has global expertise and a local presence. Founded in 2005 by former Oracle executives, architects, and consultants, SmartERP now has over 300 clients and over 350 employees worldwide. The team provides innovative, cost-effective, and configurable solutions and services that efficiently extend the capabilities of ERP systems to meet specific business process needs, and full services offerings from implementations, upgrades, managed services, Cloud services and transformation, and more.

Solutions and services include:

  • Smart (Pre) Onboarding
  • Smart Talent Procurement
  • Smart E-Verify and Form I-9
  • Segregation of Duties
  • À La Carte Services
  • Consulting
  • Implementations
  • Upgrades
  • Lift and Shift (Move to the Cloud)
  • Oracle Cloud Services
  • Integrations
  • Managed Services
  • Hosting Services
  • Support
  • Database Administration Services


To help gauge the audience, Wong started with a few polls.

Poll #1: What release of PeopleSoft HCM are you on?

  • 9.2 – 85.7%
  • 9.1 – 14.3%
  • 9.0 – 0%
  • 8.9 or below – 0%

Poll #2: What release of PeopleTools are you on?

  • 8.58 – 50%
  • 8.57 – 42.9%
  • 8.56 – 7.1%
  • 8.55 – 0%
  • 8.54 or below – 0%

Wong also walked through some important terminology to keep in mind as she went through the presentation:

  • On-Premise: The traditional form of an enterprise IT infrastructure, where the application software and hardware/infrastructure are in-house.
  • Cloud: Cloud computing where application software is accessed over the internet, including hardware/infrastructure, database, security, recovery, backups, and all other IT requirements are hosted.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Hardware, Operating Systems, Network Connections. Using IaaS with PeopleSoft means simply replacing your existing on-premises hardware stack with Cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Databases, Middleware, Integration. Using PaaS with PeopleSoft includes folding database and middleware tiers into the Cloud stack – gaining additional benefits of Cloud application management.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Applications. Since PeopleSoft is not a native Cloud-based application, there is no SaaS option available. SaaS applications can be used to either augment or replace existing PeopleSoft modules.

Three Strategic Flavors for PeopleSoft HCM

Wong laid out three strategic flavors for PeopleSoft HCM:

  • Current (Vanilla) – Maximize Your PeopleSoft Investment
    • Stay current on your existing PeopleSoft HCM with application and PeopleTools updates
    • Expand your existing PeopleSoft Applications with new on-premise and/or SaaS add-ons
  • Hybrid (Strawberry) – Some Components of Cloud Services
    • Infrastructure and/or Platform as a Service (OCI)
    • Expand your existing PeopleSoft Applications with new SaaS add-ons
    • Lift and Shift your PeopleSoft applications to a Cloud platform
    • Oracle Cloud Manager and OCI
  • Oracle Cloud (Chocolate) – Journey to Oracle Cloud HCM
    • Replace existing PeopleSoft Applications with next-gen Oracle Cloud HCM Applications

A third poll showed what flavor attendees were currently on.

Poll #3: Which flavor are you on today?

  • Current – 75%
  • Hybrid – 12.5%
  • Cloud – 12.5%

Flavor 1: Current – Maximize Your PeopleSoft Investment

For those who are on a release prior to 9.2, roadmap options include:

  • Upgrade from your Prior Release to Release 9.2 latest PUM level at the time of upgrade
  • Stay on current release with no plans to upgrade the applications
  • PeopleTools Upgrade may or may not be on your upgrade roadmap
  • Depending on Prior Release, apply Quarterly Tax Updates as available on My Oracle Support (MOS)

For those who are on Release 9.2, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the PeopleSoft Strategy and Roadmap. This will help you with your Continuous Release model, Selective Adoption and PUM strategy, and PeopleTools Releases and PeopleTools patch levels.

Continuous Release updates with PUMs help include:

  • Tax Updates
  • HCM PUM Images – Quarterly
  • New Features and Capabilities
  • “Critical” Bug Fixes
  • Cumulative Feature Overview (CFO)

The chart below shows planned releases in 2021 to help you stay current with your PeopleSoft investment.

*PeopleTools 8.59.01 Now Available on OCI

The Cumulative Feature Overview (CFO) tool helps you stay current by highlighting new features, tax updates/compliance updates, and defects between your current release and your target releases for both applications and PeopleTools. This helps you identify what new features to implement and what you need to update or fix in your new target release.

To wrap up, Wong highlighted a few PeopleSoft HCM features to be aware of, including:

  • Fluid User Interface
  • Job Data Modernization
  • Kibana Analytics
  • Chatbots
  • Configuration vs. customization
  • Many more!

You can find more about these key features in the PeopleSoft Information Portal.

Flavor 2: Hybrid – Some Components of Cloud Services

Wong highlighted a few ways that cloud can be a differentiator for users:

  • Moving enterprise data to the cloud results in more data being available across the enterprise as well as between trading partners.
  • Cloud applications can easily scale up or down as loads increase or decrease
  • Additional sites can more easily be rolled out than with traditional on-premises applications
  • Additional modules are more easily added than with traditional on-premises applications
  • Allows companies to concentrate on their core competencies rather than devoting large amounts of resources to infrastructure maintenance, cybersecurity, performance tuning, etc.
  • Ability to easily increase data storage as data volume increases

Many companies have been running PeopleSoft in the Cloud for years. Any Cloud can be used to host PeopleSoft applications via IaaS – Oracle OCI, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, etc. If you can create the server stack in a Cloud environment, you can install PeopleSoft in that Cloud environment. You can move all or parts of your PeopleSoft infrastructure to the Cloud.

The image below shows SmartERP Solutions’ lift and shift methodology.

PeopleSoft Cloud Manager is a tool that can help with Cloud Computing, migrating to Oracle Cloud, lifecycle management, and self-service provisioning.

  • Cloud Computing
    • Elastic scaling based on demand
    • Always current, always patched technology platform
    • Industry-leading secured environments
  • Migrating to Oracle Cloud
    • Lift and Shift existing environments to Oracle Cloud
    • Migration of your configuration, data, and customizations
    • Backup and restore to Oracle Cloud
    • Clone for additional environments
  • Lifecycle Management
    • Subscription to update release channels
    • Complete environment management
    • Automated application patching
  • Self-Service Provisioning
    • On-demand environments for specific use cases
    • Template-drive provisioning enables business users
    • Unique topology definitions

The minimum requirements for using PeopleSoft Cloud Manager are Applications Release 9.2 and PeopleTools 8.55.

Benefits of using PeopleSoft Cloud Manager include:

  • Fast-track development and go-to-market to capitalize on new business areas. Run multiple projects using automated environment provisioning.
  • Customize your environment in the Cloud. Develop, test, deploy, and maintain your customizations to suit your organization’s business needs.
  • Effectively optimize the usage of Cloud Computing resources. Benefit from the efficiency of PeopleSoft operation automation. Use only what you need, when you need it.
  • Scale up and down as needed to meet sudden workload demands with confidence.

Wong also highlighted a few reasons why users should look to extend PeopleSoft with Cloud solutions:

  • Oracle and other companies are increasingly focusing on Cloud solutions as their premier HCM/ERP/EPM/SCM applications
  • Companies with large HCM implementations (especially if heavily customized) are understandably reluctant to move completely to new Cloud applications
  • Integrated solutions present a “toe in the water” to begin the transition to Cloud HCM solutions.

Some examples of Smart Solutions to extend with SaaS include:

  • Enhanced Form I-9 and E-Verify with DHS
  • Segregation of Duties and Compliance
  • Services Procurement and Resource Management for Contingent/Gig Workers
  • Oracle Cloud Manager
  • Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA)
  • OCI with IaaS and PaaS

Examples of ways to extend with Saas in Oracle Cloud HCM include:

  • Human Capital Management Base
    • Self-Service and Help Desk*
    • Benefits and Absence
  • Global Payroll
  • Recruitment
  • Talent Management
  • Workforce Compensation
  • Workforce Planning
  • Time and Labor
  • Guided Learning*

*Recommended SaaS if functionality required

Flavor 3: Oracle Cloud – Journey to Oracle Cloud HCM

Benefits of migrating to a modern cloud platform include:

  • Lower Costs: Subscription costs are based on a monthly or yearly pricing model and saves money by instantly giving you access to a vastly improved infrastructure without the hefty up-front hardware and software investments of the past.
  • Streamlined Business Performance: Fewer keystrokes and manual processes leveraging HCM, ERP, SCM modern best-practice business functionality and reporting capabilities.
  • Easier to Update and Scale: It’s the last upgrade you will ever have to do given the automatic updates, patches, and periodic new releases that Oracle provides via its automated SaaS system.
  • Anytime, Anywhere Access: Unlike on-premise systems, cloud systems give growing businesses the ability to improve workforce mobility and increase productivity, even when employees are on the go and working remotely.
  • Less IT Maintenance Internally along with Robust Backup and Disaster Recovery: This reduces day-to-day routine maintenance and troubleshooting tasks so that your IT team can focus on more strategic business initiatives.

Wong also shared an Oracle Cloud HCM customer case study. This client is in the Financials and Insurance industry, has 9,000 customers globally, and operates in 70 countries. There were multiple global HCM on-premise systems used, and the PeopleSoft footprint also includes Financials/ERP.

The decision was made to implement Oracle Cloud HCM and Oracle Cloud EPM immediately. Oracle Cloud ERP is part of the client’s longer-term cloud enterprise strategy.

The client chose Oracle Cloud HCM for several reasons, including:

  • They required a global solution for HCM for immediate implementation and for PeopleSoft FSCM later
  • One enterprise common platform across HCM, EPM, and ERP as the best solution from an IT perspective
  • Streamlined and accurate data in a single source
  • More robust security/governance across enterprise applications
  • Ability to adapt quickly to business model and demand shifts
  • Lower TCO and gained a current system with modern functionality
  • Eliminate costly upgrades of on-premise applications

Other benefits included:

  • One global system versus many disparate systems
  • Talent Management: Improve ability to hire, retain, develop and effectively compensate employees
  • Better alignment of the workforce to strategic priorities
  • Reduce turnover and better manage data
  • Increased employee satisfaction through self-service and state-of-the-art and modern functionality
  • Improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and safety capabilities
  • Strengthened compliance and reporting standards

After walking through the three flavors, the fourth and final poll of the session gauged what attendees’ next move may be.

Poll #4: What flavor are you considering?

  • Maximize current investment – 70%
  • Lift and Shift to Cloud – 0%
  • Hybrid Oracle Cloud Manager – 0%
  • Hybrid Extend with Oracle Solutions – 0%
  • Oracle Cloud HCM Journey/Transition – 10%
  • More than one of the above – 10%
  • None of the above – 10%

To learn more, check out SmartERP’s RECONNECT Envision 21 presentation attached below.

Additional Resources

PeopleSoft Week will take place June 21-25, 2021! This online event is FREE for Quest Corporate and Professional members. Not yet a member? Join today and attend for FREE! Registration for the event opens on May 24th.

Join us on October 4-7, 2021, for RECONNECT Dive Deep! Picking up from where RECONNECT Envision ends, RECONNECT Dive Deep completes our two-part virtual PeopleSoft conference series. PeopleSoft users of all levels can dig into new releases, dive deep into practical learning, get new ideas from best practices and hone their core PeopleSoft skills during four jam-packed digital days of education and networking. Register today!

Call for Presentations for RECONNECT Dive Deep is now open until June 28th! Submit an abstract to be considered for selection!

3 Strategic Flavors for PeopleSoft HCM: Which One Are You?