As part of PeopleSoft Industry Day 2019, Rebekah Jackson, Vice President of PeopleSoft Product Management at Oracle, discussed the strategy for Oracle’s ongoing PeopleSoft investment strategy by envisioning an organization that is maximizing their PeopleSoft investment and is leveraging the full capability of today’s delivered PeopleSoft. Jackson covered the overall PeopleSoft strategy and roadmap for future enhancements currently in plans or development.
In the technological sphere, the pace at which things are changing is more rapid than ever experienced. There is an ever-increasing demand related to user expectation. New business models are showing up with unprecedented industry crossover amongst competitors. Additionally, technology is evolving. All of these moving parts make it extremely difficult for companies to keep up with cultural shifts. That’s where PeopleSoft comes in.
PeopleSoft features and capabilities can assist customers with various areas of their business, as illustrated in the graphic below.
To give a complete picture of what PeopleSoft offers for all business areas, Jackson walks through an example of a hypothetical organization that is leveraging all of the delivered features and functionality within PeopleSoft.
Areas of the PeopleSoft Investment Strategy
All organizations strive to attract and hire the best candidates. To achieve this goal, organizations can leverage the Fluid Candidate Gateway to provide a job search and application experience to candidates. This candidate experience is mobile, modern, and personalized. This ensures that candidates have an enjoyable experience with your organization from the very first interaction you have with them.
Jobs can be favorited or shared, and candidates can easily attach resumes and documents. You can configure the application and hiring process to fit your business needs. For example, you can configure the number of steps in the process that appear when candidates are on mobile vs. desktop.
Internally, organizations can also leverage the configurable dashboard and homepage for recruiters and hiring managers. This ensures that the information they need is always just a click away. Employees can determine how they personally work most effectively and personalize their dashboard to meet their preferences.
These homepages also leverage powerful analytics that tie actions to business goals. Analytics can show important information like the status of in-process applicants, diversity of applicants, number of open jobs each month, etc. that can greatly benefit recruiters and hiring managers. With PeopleTools 8.57, users can also leverage personalized analytic notifications, so recruiters don’t have to be constantly monitoring the analytics on their dashboard. The system will alert them through email or an app notification.
For workforce administration, companies can leverage features and functionality to assist with onboarding new hires or managing time and pay.
Onboarding activity guides create a configurable, guided onboarding experience for new hires. You can define required steps, embedded videos, create welcome messages, and collect eSignatures for any forms. These activity guides make the complex onboarding process quick and easy.
Once employees are onboarded, they can quickly and easily report their time using the new Fluid Timesheet that is available on either desktop or mobile. Various types of time reporters can use this tool to capture their time.
In addition, payroll administrators have access to a configurable Payroll WorkCenter to help them process critical administrative functions. Employees can access information about their pay summary, direct deposit, etc. through easy self-service, and administrators, managers, and employees can access robust analytics about payroll information. It is a one-stop-shop for all payroll administrator information.
To help with talent development, managers can leverage Employee Snapshot for at-a-glance insights on employees across multiple dimensions. With this tool, you can access information about an employee’s performance, compensation, competencies, career plans, job interest, education, and much more. All of this information can help managers grow and develop employees and determine what the next steps are. Are they ready for a promotion? Is it time to reward them? Do they need help with particular learning and skill development?
There is easily accessible, mobile, any time learning that employees can access to develop and grow their skill set. Any learning that they complete will be captured in Employee Snapshot for managers to see.
When managers see their employees growing and developing new skills, they can easily take action to promote employees within Employee Snapshot. Integrated development and performance plans help managers see employees’ job interests and career plans, and they can use that information to reward and promote employees through guided self-service.
Credit to Cash
Of course, it’s not all about one individual. Companies have to focus on managing the business as a whole. There are customers to worry about, and the organization needs to collect payments from those customers. PeopleSoft Fluid eBill Payment allows customers to quickly and easily pay bills in one-click through the Quick Pay option.
Internally, companies can leverage the Fluid homepages, dashboards, and WorkCenters for Credit to Cash Operations and Operational Analysis. These features provide a personalized, configurable experience for administrators. They can easily process invoices, bills, and payments, make quick and easy approvals, and access powerful analytics that help them monitor critical business measures. With PeopleTools 8.57, they can also set up personalized analytic notifications that help them stay up to date with their business.
Financial Management and Operations
There are several features and functionalities delivered in PeopleSoft to help organizations manage core finances and operations.
These tools can enable employees to easily submit expense reports through their mobile device. They can simply take a picture of a receipt and text it into the Wallet, so when they are ready to file an expense report, all of their information is readily available at their fingertips.
Additional mobile capabilities include Mobile Inventory with Barcode Scanning and easy, mobile field inspections and assets. This functionality allows employees to be out in the field and still be in-tune with their PeopleSoft system while away from their desk.
There is also a Fluid homepage for Grants Management, so employees get a personalized experience when handling grants and contracts. Employees can pin important tiles and take advantage of robust analytics and WorkCenters.
In addition, these tools make it easier to make fast, efficient journal entries and create a streamlined process for doing so.
Procure to Pay
Finally, it’s essential for organizations to have strategic procurement and payment optimization.
With Fluid eProcurement, employees can have a consumer-like purchasing experience that we are used to in our everyday lives. They have advanced search capabilities, the ability to favorite items, look at item history, and more.
In addition, companies can leverage Supplier Scorecard to help manage their relationships with suppliers. This tool provides a quantitative and qualitative supplier assessment for each supplier.
The comprehensive Supplier Portal also provides a mobile, self-service supplier onboarding process and gives suppliers a way to handle bidding, invoices, purchase orders, and disputes more easily and efficiently.
There is also a Fluid Payables Operations homepage that provides robust analytics and information that is focused on business objectives. Organizations will have a clear picture of Accounts Payable, approvals, invoices, etc.
There has been a tremendous amount of new enhancements delivered for these PeopleSoft investment areas in the last 12 months, and the graphic below isn’t even a complete list. For a comprehensive list of the latest delivered features, check out the Cumulative Feature Overview tool.
“It’s not just about the features and the functions that we’ve delivered, but about the infrastructure and the tools that are enabling it.”
—Rebekah Jackson, VP of PeopleSoft Product Strategy
Overall PeopleSoft Strategy and Roadmap
Jackson explained that the investment strategy of PeopleSoft has revolved around delivering more power, capability, and functional processing in PeopleSoft while also modernizing the experience with hopes of shifting all users into a productive, intuitive mobile experience. In many ways, this strategy will remain the same for the future. Users can expect a significant amount of focus to be placed on four categories:
- Delivering new features and legislative updates
- Addressing the customization paradigm
- Modernizing deployment and lifecycle management
- Harnessing the value of emerging technologies
New Features and Legislative Updates
The core of PeopleSoft is continuing to invest in functional capabilities that serve the needs of the user. Some of the features on the roadmap are outlined in the following image:
For a complete breakdown of features on the roadmap, check out the PeopleSoft Planned Features and Enhancements tool on My Oracle Support.
Addressing the Customization Paradigm
The second big strategic theme deals with addressing customizations. Changing the customization paradigm is crucial for you to be able to unlock the value of the functionality of the features previously discussed. There are many reasons that people choose to customize their PeopleSoft system. A tailored experience provides a streamlined, differentiated, personalized, fit for individual purpose, and faster PeopleTools platform. However, today, customizations determine whether you will be successfully running PeopleSoft or not.
Essentially, the cost of customization is an iceberg. When you first create the customization, you develop it, test it and check it in. The true cost comes later. Every update and release, tracking, management, and re-application takes longer and requires more involvement. This results in unused delivered functionality or a delay in adopting new capabilities. Ultimately, customization disrupts automation, which can prevent the adoption of new capabilities.
The expectation from users, executives, and the community at large is that modern applications can and should be able to rapidly adopt and deploy new features. Customizations are the biggest factors in preventing that.
Configuration is a better alternative to customization, and configuration does not prevent new feature adoption or automation in the future. Moving forward, the strategy is to either avoid or isolate customizations by using some of the tools highlighted below:
There are several strategy options for addressing customizations in your organization.
- Big Dig: Addressing customizations at the time of an upgrade through a specific, focused project
- Iterative and Incremental: Tie addressing customizations to your Selective Adoption strategy and make it part of every “get current”
- Cherry-Pick Priorities: Zero in on high-cost/high-value areas and use success to drive future efforts
Modernizing Deployment and Lifecycle Management
The third investment area is focused on modernizing deployment and lifecycle management.
Oracle Cloud is setting the benchmark for expectation and possibility of the deployment and lifecycle management of PeopleSoft environments. Jackson explained that PeopleSoft runs most effectively on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). That is why PeopleSoft is continuing to invest in the PeopleSoft Cloud Manager, which lets you lift and shift an on-premise environment and put it into the Cloud. This gives your company end-to-end automation for creating an environment. Cloud allows you to have an unlimited number of environments that are configured however you like and are disposable when you are finished with them.
Additionally, Jackson explained that the lifecycle management process is more effective and automated in the Cloud. There are deployment packages (DPKs) for fully automated environment setup, complete command line support for Change Assistant, pre-defined change package reports in PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) and Change Assistant, and command line support for PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF).
Jackson expressed that your company should be leveraging the Cloud and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to use environments as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Harnessing Emerging Technologies
One of the most prominent questions considered at PeopleSoft is, “How can technology improve the human experience?” It should make a measurable impact. Emerging technology can help with things like simplifying interactions, submitting transactions, anticipating questions, offering suggestions, provide guidance, etc. Some examples of the emerging technologies that are being developed to meet this need are the Internet of Things and a conversational interface.
In an Asset Management example, Internet of Things provides real-time visibility into information about asset location, health, and utilization. It also provides that ability to track assets anytime, anywhere and predict future events.
As far as a conversational interface, PeopleSoft is looking at leveraging it for some of the following examples:
- Expenses: Submit line items/report or check report status
- Procurement: Order/reorder item or check order status
- eSettlements: Update suppliers on an invoice payment
- Supplier Portal: Update supplier information
- Financials: Query financial balances
- eBill Payment: Manage tasks and pay statements
- Recruiting: Apply for an open position
- Absence Management: Request time off
In fact, PeopleSoft recently released the PeopleSoft Absence Management chatbot in HCM Update Image 31.
For more information about the overall PeopleSoft strategy and roadmap, check out the PeopleSoft Industry Day 2019 presentation and additional Quest resources attached below.
If you’re looking for more PeopleSoft content, join us next year at RECONNECT 20, the premier deep-dive PeopleSoft focused event of the year! The event will take place July 21-23, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. Keep an eye out for more information on this event!
To learn from the experiences of your peers within the Quest Oracle Community, check out the PeopleSoft Customer Stories page that houses 30+ PeopleSoft customer stories about Selective Adoption, user experience, PeopleSoft in the Cloud, PeopleSoft Human Capital Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning, and PeopleSoft tools and technology!