During RECONNECT 20, Rebekah Jackson, Vice President of Product Strategy at Oracle, presented how to innovate with PeopleSoft in today’s turbulent times.
Continuous delivery and innovation remain imperatives for delivering value, and yet they are even more challenging now, given unprecedented changes to budgets, operating models, and economic outlooks. To help combat these challenges, Jackson shared insights, trends, and lessons learned from the PeopleSoft Innovators – customers like you that have deployed new capabilities. Which initiatives delivered value? Were they worth the cost? If they had it to do over again, would they?
Innovation: Perception vs. Reality
For over two decades, Jackson has been working in IT innovation. Throughout that time, she’s recognized a breakdown between the perception of innovation and the reality of it.
- Perception: Innovative ideas are brilliant, exciting, and right-sized. They feel magical and different, almost as if there’s pixie dust in the air. The team is energized, the plans are frictionless, and the results are just as expected.
- Reality: Innovative ideas solve a problem. They feel like work—the messy and demanding kind. On occasion, they may feel insignificant and simple. There are several status meetings and escalations. In the end, the results are surprising, and the team learns something they didn’t expect.
The pandemic brings new challenges with regard to IT innovation. On average, worldwide IT budgets have declined by 7.7 percent. Yet, organizations that focus on innovation through a crisis outperform the market by more than 30 percent. That said, despite budget cuts, companies should make innovation a top priority.
How Customers Innovate with PeopleSoft
Over the last four years, PeopleSoft recognized 80 clients and employees for making innovative strides with the PeopleSoft tool. PeopleSoft Innovators are awarded for the benefits they’ve achieved, lessons learned, and new features adopted.
These Innovators provide the PeopleSoft product team with helpful perspectives through surveys. Most recently, the Innovators offered several insights for Fluid UI, Configuration, Cloud Options, Chatbots, and Selective Adoption.
Of the 80 PeopleSoft Innovators, more than half have been recognized for Fluid adoptions. Fluid UI is now the standard for PeopleSoft users, as Fluid is adopted broadly across all industries, geographies, and products.
By mining survey data, the PeopleSoft team identified ten most commonly used Fluid components for PS Innovators:
- Fluid Navigation
- Home Pages
- Employee Self Service
- Fluid Approvals
- Manager Self Service
- Candidate Gateway
- Work Centers
- Pivot Grids
Customer Example: Tangible Cost Savings from Fluid Deployment
When Griffith University deployed a tailored Fluid WorkCenter for HR administrators and HCM guided Self Service for managers and employees, the results included operational savings of AUD $250,000 annually.
Nearly all PeopleSoft Innovators agree Fluid is helpful in the time of COVID-19.
Survey Results: Most Popular Ways Fluid Helped Users Respond to the Pandemic
- Increasing number of remote workers
- Easier data entry, system access
- Non-standard work hours
- Mobile devices, laptops
- Greater flexibility and control of activities
- Responding to unexpected requirements
- Confirm, updated addresses
- Drop classes late (Forms)
- Activity Guides for students “priceless”
- New reports to manage vacation time
- Eliminating paper forms (and assoc. backlog)
- Track remote workers in HR
- Health and Safety incidents
Survey Results: Capabilities That Were Particularly Helpful This Year
- Announcements Tile – To communicate with staff
- Custom Tiles – For things like compulsory training
- Dynamic Tiles – Displaying balances, saving time (clicks), driving compliance (exceptions turn red)
- Expenses – Submit from anywhere, track and report on COVID related items
- Approvals – Executive team appreciates the ease of processing
When asked whether Innovators would implement Fluid now if they hadn’t before the Pandemic, nearly everyone said they would make it a priority.
“If budget is a constraint, my advice to customers would be to start with small scope – perhaps just transition from the classic navigation to Fluid home pages and navigation collections. Then, gradually turn on Fluid pages as time permits. The benefits of moving to a Fluid interface is enormous. Your users will thank you for it!”
Another 15 out of 80 Innovators have been recognized for deploying configuration, which has proven to lower costs and increase agility for urgent responses to the pandemic.
Survey Results: Tools Delivering the Most Value
- Page & Field Configurator
- Event Mapping
- Approvals Page Composer
- Forms & Approval Builder
- Drop Zones
- Navigation Collections
All customers said they would prioritize de-customizing amidst the pandemic if they had not already done so. One respondent said, “The current pandemic has made it even more important for these efforts. We continue to provide operational excellence and an improved user experience to the entire organization.”
PeopleSoft in the Cloud
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) are lowering costs and increasing agility. Another 17 out of 80 Innovators have been recognized for running PeopleSoft on OCI, and 88 percent of the Innovators are running their Production instance on OCI.
Example: Cost Savings from OCI
The State of Texas runs PeopleSoft HCM, FSCM, and ELM for every state government agency. A suite of 120 environments supports agencies in production and ongoing deployment. They’ve been using OCI for 14 months and identified the following goals and benefits.
- Projected cost savings
- Improved system performance (50-70 percent improvement in some areas)
- High application availability system design
- Ability to add agencies without a major installation effort or architecture change
- $2M cost savings projects for last fiscal year
For those looking to reduce the cost of running PeopleSoft, OCI is a wise investment.
Additionally, 3 out of 80 PeopleSoft Innovators have been recognized for deploying Chatbots. The early movers with chatbots are seeing the tangible benefits displayed below.
How Honeywell Benefits from Chatbots
- Uses Oracle Digital Assistant with PeopleSoft HCM to reduce operating costs by automating tasks of departmental experts and help desk agents
- Improves the employee and manager experience by being able to:
- Resolve issues, answer questions, and perform tasks faster and easier—and do it 24/7
- Provide a better UI, conversational in multiple languages
- Provides access via channels that are more readily used: Microsoft Teams
How Southern Company Benefits from Chatbots
- Uses Oracle Digital Assistant integrated with their PeopleSoft HCM system
- Employee Self-Service – Profile/Leave & Attendance/Benefits/Payroll
- Manager Self-Service – MSS transactions/Reporting & Analytics
- HR Support Chatbot – Integrated with PeopleSoft Help Desk Ticketing System
- HR Reporting Chatbot – Request schedule execute reports
- HR Policy Chatbot – Helping Employees get Answers on their HR Queries
How Loyola University Chicago Benefits from Chatbots
- Using Oracle Digital Assistant for Students and Advisors
- Chatbot answers more than 200 questions personalized by role
- Provides multi-language support
- Improved performance and ability to add agencies easily
- Bot answered 86% of questions correctly (compared to 74% by first-call human interaction)
- 91% positive feedback from users
- Working with partner Intrasee
Another 19 of 80 Innovators have been recognized for Selective Adoption.
When asked how the pandemic is affecting Selective Adoption, all respondents said their fundamental strategy has not changed. However, it has had an impact on:
- Team structures
- Other projects
- Increased focus on features that improve efficiency and user experience
- Stronger push to Fluid, removing Classic navigation
- Increased focus on agility
When asked what they are planning to do next, most customers have a healthy list of plans. The most frequently cited initiatives are:
- Kibana analytics
- PeopleTools 8.58 Upgrades
- Get Current on App Images
- Job Data Modernization, Fluid Open Enrollment, etc.
- Time & Labor, Program Management, Expenses
The stories from PeopleSoft Innovators offer a tremendous amount of insights for PeopleSoft and its users during today’s turbulent times. Learn more innovative approaches on the PeopleTools blog.
To learn more, check out the RECONNECT 20 presentation and additional resources below.